John Boyega has been announced as the lead in the upcoming sci-fi romance film, The Freshening.
The movie will be directed by Cathy Yan, best known for her work on Birds of Prey and Dead Pigs, and is inspired by a short story by Rachel Khong that explores a near-future world where the US government has instituted a public health initiative called “The Freshening,” where everyone only sees others as the same race and gender as themselves.
Boyega will play the role of Reese, a character who is forced to make a decision about whether to disrupt this “freshened” world after a street drug hits the scene, promising to allow people to see the world as it really is. The film will explore complex themes around race, gender, and identity and is due to start filming later this year. The project is being produced by FilmNation Entertainment, Ali Wong, Hyperobject Industries’ Adam McKay and Betsy Koch, and Rewild’s Cathy Yan and Ash Sarohia.
Boyega’s career has gone from strength to strength since his breakthrough role in the 2011 film Attack the Block. He has since starred in a number of high-profile projects, including Detroit, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Star Wars, and the upcoming Netflix film, They Cloned Tyrone. Boyega is also known for his activism, particularly around the issue of racial justice, and has been a vocal advocate for diversity and inclusion in the film industry.
Yan, who will direct The Freshening, is an Emmy-nominated director who made her feature debut with the critically acclaimed film Dead Pigs in 2018. She went on to direct the DC Comics adaptation Birds of Prey, which starred Margot Robbie, and has also directed episodes of the HBO series Succession.
With Boyega and Yan at the helm, The Freshening promises to be a thought-provoking and visually stunning addition to the sci-fi romance genre.