YA Adaptation 'The Hate U Give' Adds 'Detroit' Star Algee Smith (Exclusive)

Algee Smith - Detroit Build Series - Getty - H 2017
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Amandla Stenberg is starring in the film based on Angela Thomas' debut novel, which was inspired by Black Lives Matter.

Detroit star Algee Smith has joined The Hate U Give, Fox 2000's adaptation of the Black Lives Matter YA novel of the same name.

Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg is starring along with Russell Hornsby and Regina Hall in the adaptation of Angela Thomas' debut novel that George Tillman Jr. will direct.

The story follows a 16-year-old girl named Starr who grew up in a poverty-stricken slum, but now attends a suburban prep school. After she witnesses a police officer shoot her unarmed best friend, she's torn between her two very different worlds as she tries to speak her truth.

Smith will play Starr's childhood friend, Khalil.

Hall will play Lisa, Starr's mother while Hornsby is playing Starr's father. Lamar Johnson has previously been cast to play Seven, Starr's older brother.

The films rights to The Hate U Give were picked up by Fox 2000, Temple Hill and State Street in a competitive situation in 2016. Audrey Wells wrote the script adaptation. Thomas’ book, bought by HarperCollins imprint Balzer + Bray after 13 publishing houses bid on it at auction, was published Feb. 28. The hit novel has spent more than 23 weeks on the New York Times young adult best-seller list after debuting at No. 1.

Smith is a rising star who was a lead in Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit with John Boyega. The film was recently released by Annapurna Pictures. He was previously seen in BET’s miniseries The New Edition Story. He’s repped by CAA, Indigo Production Group, First Access Entertainment and Stone, Genow.