John Boyega Signs With Netflix To Develop African Films - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

Star Wars actor John Boyega signed a deal with Netflix to develop films focusing on African content, according to Variety. Boyega and his UpperRoom Productions have signed on to produce non-English films that will focus on West and East Africa.

Currently, three features are included in the multiyear deal, two from Nigeria and one from Egypt. The company stated that the indie production house founded by Boyega “will develop film projects based on stories, cast, characters, crew, literary properties, mythology, screenplays and/or other elements in or around African countries.”

“I am thrilled to partner with Netflix to develop a slate of non-English language feature films focused on African stories, and my team and I are excited to develop original material,” Boyega revealed to Variety. “We are proud to grow this arm of our business with a company that shares our vision.”

Netflix has already started showcasing content from Africa. The streaming company released Queen Sono on Feb. 28, a six-part drama series set in Africa. Coming up soon are two more African originals; an animated series called Mama K’s Team 4 and a South African teen drama titled Blood & Water.

“Africa has a rich history in storytelling, and for Netflix, this partnership with John and UpperRoom presents an opportunity to further our investment in the continent while bringing unique African stories to our members both in Africa and around the world,” said David Kosse, VP of international film at Netflix.

Boyega is well known for being cast as a lead protagonist in the 2015 movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He played the character named Finn, who was a black stormtrooper in the storied franchise.

The actor, who starred as Jake Pentecost in the science fiction film, Pacific Rim: Uprising, also earned his first producing credit for the 2018 movie. Last year, Boyega participated in the South African crime thriller God Is Good as executive producer and through his UpperRoom Records imprint is overseeing the movie’s soundtrack.