John Boyega Joins Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit Crime Drama (Exclusive)

John Boyega -EE British Academy Film Awards-Getty-H 2016
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A summer shoot in Detroit and Boston is being planned.

Star Wars star John Boyega has been cast in Kathryn Bigelow’s untitled Detroit project.

Bigelow is directing the crime drama, her first feature since 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty. It is being financed by Annapurna Pictures and has an original script by her frequent collaborator Mark Boal.

Details of the project are unknown, but the story is set against the backdrop of Detroit’s devastating riots that took place over five summer days in 1967, with the film seeking to explore the systemic racism in the city. The roll call is described as an ensemble piece.

A summer shoot in Detroit and Boston is being planned. Bigelow is producing with Boal, Annapurna’s Megan Ellison and Matthew Budman and Colin Wilson. Greg Shapiro will executive produce.

No studio is attached yet as a distributor, but Bigelow, Ellison and company are eyeing a 2017 release, timed to the 50th anniversary of the riots.

After shooting to international stardom playing Stormtrooper-with-a-conscience Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Boyega currently is shooting the follow-up, Star Wars: Episode VIII. He recently nabbed the lead in Pacific Rim 2 and, in a show of his growing cachet, he also will co-produce the Legendary movie with his business partner Femi Oguns under their joint production company, Upper Room Productions.

Boyega, who also has The Circle with Tom Hanks and Emma Watson in the can, is repped by WME and Identity Agency Group in the UK.