*“Detroit” actor Algee Smith has joined “The Hate U Give,” Fox 2000’s adaptation of the Black Lives Matter YA novel of the same name from first-time author Angela Thomas.
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, who also portrayed Ralph Tresvant in BET’s “The New Edition Story,” will play Starr’s childhood friend, Khalil.
As previously reported, Russell Hornsby and Regina Hall play Starr’s parents in the adaptation, while Lamar Johnson has been cast as Starr’s older brother, Seven. George Tillman Jr. will direct. Audrey Wells wrote the script adaptation.
The film rights to The Hate U Give were picked up by Fox 2000, Temple Hill and State Street in a competitive bidding war in 2016. 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.