In my interview with John Boyega for Attack the Block when I inevitably got around to the “what do you have coming up next?” question, I could tell he was really eager to say something, but just *not quite* able. Well it turns out his next project was a damn good one and one to be excited about as he’s really going to get the opportunity to do this whole “potential film star” thing right.
Da Brick is a potential HBO show that will boast a pilot directed by Spike Lee and produced by Entourage creator Doug Ellin and Jim Lefkowitz. It will be written by John Ridley loosely based on the experiences of Mike Tyson as he grew up in Newark, N.J (often called “Brick City”). Both the boxer himself and his wife are involved in the project.
“Donnie” will be the show’s Tyson surrogate, and Boyega will take on the role of Donnie as the character is released from juvie on his 18th birthday. Other announced cast members: Milauna Jemai as Donnie’s mother, Julito McCullum as his best friend, and Kamahl Naiqui Palmer as another of Donnie’s friends.
I have no doubt Boyega will get to show a much larger audience his excellent screen presence on Da Brick, but I’m more excited to see him take on a high-quality television role that will likely challenge him right off the bat. He’s got a strong debut, but we’ve still got plenty more to see before we can call this kid a legit star. And it will be a while yet before we see anything from the pilot and know if it’s ordered as a full series. It sounds interesting, even if mining a premium TV series from boxing can be tough.
My aforementioned Boyega interview is below, but make sure you let me know if you’re interested in a show that parallels Mike Tyson’s youth, and if it’s that or the players involved that will get you to watch… twitter, comments, boards.