John Boyega has teamed up with Netflix to develop non-English language films that center on African storytelling via his production company UpperRoom Productions.
The “Star Wars” actor’s production company, which he founded in 2016, will develop projects initially focused on Nigerian and Sudanese stories, Boyega wrote in a statement shared on Instagram on Tuesday.
“An intrinsic part of our DNA as a company has always been to produce authentic content, that gives a true voice to perspectives and narratives from all over the world,” the British-Nigerian actor wrote. “It’s important that we take charge of telling our stories, and with this deal, we will do just that.”
Boyega added that he and members of his UpperRoom team, Yara Shaikh and Runyararo Mapfumo, will both develop original material and remaster Nollywood classics.
David Kosse, vice president of international film at Netflix, said in a company announcement on Tuesday that the partnership created an “opportunity to further our investment in the continent while bringing unique African stories to our members both in Africa and around the world.”
Boyega was notably cast as a lead protagonist in 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” His casting as Finn, a Black stormtrooper in the beloved franchise, sparked some backlash and racist comments online, to which Boyega told haters at the time: “Get used to it.”
The actor earned his first producing credit for 2018 sci-fi film “Pacific Rim: Uprising,” in which he starred as Jake Pentecost.
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