As a young actor, you can’t ask for a much better debut vehicle than Attack the Block. John Boyega came out of that movie a star, but it was not immediate clear what Hollywood would do with a black, teenage, British star best known for playing a hoodlum. The answer is very satisfying: Boyega has signed with HBO to star in the boxing drama Da Brick. The show is loosely based on Mike Tyson’s upbringing, motivated by an offhand conversation between Tyson and producer Doug Ellin (Entourage). In the fictional version, Boyega will play “Donnie, who, after his release from juvenlie detention on his 18th birthday begins an exploration of what it means to be a man for himself and those around him.” Milauna Jemai (Lincoln Heights), Julito McCullum (The Wire), and Kamahl Naiqui (Gossip Girl) form the supporting cast. Hit the jump for details on their roles.
THR provides the character descriptions:
- Jemai — “Lynette, Donnie’s mother, with him he reconnects with following a 14-month separation.”
- McCullum — “Kevin, Donnie’s best friend and the one person he can’t leave behind, no matter how much he may want to.”
- Naiqui — “Malik, the moral center of Donnie’s tight group of friends who is looking for direction between his middle-class upbringing and the harder realities of his environment.”
John Ridley (Three Kings) will serve as the showrunner; Spike Lee will direct the New Jersey-set pilot, which was recently picked up by HBO. Da Brick is shaping up to be a really exciting project coming from a network at the top of their game right now. Fingers crossed this makes it to series.