By Randall Rydell Russell
The name of a new black face is running around Hollywood as the next big thing. He favors a young Denzel Washington and at 16 years old he carried his first feature film and received critical acclaim. His name is John Boyega.
Boyega was born to Nigerian parents and was raised in London, UK. After only appearing in a school play in a bit part and seeing a casting call for a film being shot in his city, Boyega was cast in writer/director Joe Cornish’s directorial debut Attack the Block, a sci-fi thriller about a teen gang in south London, protecting their project building from a silent alien invasion. Boyega played the leader Moses, who leads his gang, a young woman, a stoner and two younger kids in battle. His performance and the film himself garnered him many awards and put his character on the list of great cult characters amongst the likes of Snake Plissken from Escape from New York.
After that, he was slated to be the lead in an HBO TV series Da Brick, created by Spike Lee, but the pilot episode was not picked up. He appeared in independent films such as Junkhearts garnering more acclaim and just most recently he was seen in Kiefer Sutherland’s next chapter to his hit TV Series 24 in 24: Live Another Day. He appeared as a wrongfully convicted young man named Chris. But his next role may be the one that shoot him to superstardom.
After many auditions, rumors and speculation, Boyega secured a coveted role in the next film in the Star Wars film, Star Wars: Episode VII which is being directed by JJ Abrams. He beat out the likes of Michael B. Jordan and Anthony Mackie for the role of a young Jedi Knight under the tutelage of Luke Skywalker, once again being played by Mark Hamill. It is the first of the final trilogy, and Boyega is signed on for the final three.
With all of this going on, Boyega is about to be a busy man. He turned down the lead role in a Jesse Owens bio pic which will now go to Anthony Mackie, but with Star Wars as his next project. We should be sure that more roles will start flying his way, since the Force, is with him now.