Gavin Hood recently made a movie called Eye in the Sky, which I demand everyone see. It’s a mercilessly contained suspense thriller that also says a lot about imperialism, xenophobia, and the moral cost of war at geopolitical “success”. His new, upcoming film, titled The Test, looks to be covering similar territory in a similar taut thriller style — and he’s bringing one of my most favorite actors working today along for the ride. Per Deadline, John Boyega will be starring in Hood’s The Test, which boasts a stirring premise and acting challenge.
The film, adapted by Hood from the Sylvain Neuvel novella of the same name, stars Boyega as a behavioral psychologist administering the titular test, meant to evaluate potential citizens in a fascist near-future state, to Payman Maadi (6 Underground), a mild-mannered would-be immigrant. The test is rocked by a far-right terrorist group, and the two must band together to stop these mysterious, malevolent forces (turning the film into a self-contained two-hander thriller, literally my favorite thriller sub-genre, heck yeah!). The film is funded by Entertainment One and produced by Erwin Stoff (The Call of the Wild).
Beyond the suspenseful, socially relevant creative components of this project (which Hood himself describes as “a heart-pounding psychological thriller, set in an authoritarian near-future that grabbed me by the throat and left me reeling”), it also represents a practical method of production we might see more of in a pandemic-strewn world. If there’s a worry of getting too many people in one room, why not shoot a film with just two actors?
I’ll be looking forward to see if Hood can strike lightning again with Boyega and Maadi by his side. Until then, here’s Boyega’s latest comments on his Star Wars experience.