*“Star Wars” lead John Boyega has been cast in Kathryn Bigelow’s untitled crime drama set against the backdrop of Detroit’s devastating riots that took place over five summer days in 1967.
No further details about the story have been revealed, but the film seeks to explore the systemic racism in the city, according to The Hollywood Reporter. A summer shoot in Detroit and Boston is being planned.
Bigelow is directing the project, her first feature since 2012’s “Zero Dark Thirty.” It’s being financed by Annapurna Pictures and has an original script by her frequent collaborator Mark Boal.
No studio is attached as distributor but Bigelow, Annapurna’s Megan 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, Boyega is now currently shooting the follow-up, “Star Wars: Episode VIII.” He also scored the lead in “Pacific Rim 2” and will co-produce with his business partner Femi Oguns under their joint production company, Upper Room Productions.
Boyega also completed work on “The Circle” with Tom Hanks and Emma Watson.
Below, an NBC news report on the Detroit riots of 1967: