John Boyega is set to star in the sci-fi romance The Freshening, which hails from Birds of Prey director Cathy Yan.
Inspired by Rachel Khong‘s short story of the same name in the Paris Review, the film takes place in a futuristic America where a public health initiative allows people to see only their own race and gender. However, there’s a drug that temporarily reverses the effects of “The Freshening,” which is how the two protagonists meet.
Adam McKay will produce via his Hyperobject Industries banner along with Betsy Koch, and they’ll be joined by Yan and her Rewild partner Ash Sarohia, as well as Ali Wong and FilmNation Entertainment, which is financing and handling global sales. Production is slated to start later this year.
“We are tremendously excited to have John bring this complex character and story to life and can’t wait to begin filming with this incredible group of like-minded creatives,” the producers said in a joint statement offered to Deadline, which broke the Freshening news.
“It’s a dream to work with John Boyega, a singular talent whose commitment to his craft and willingness to take risks have delivered such memorable, wide-ranging performances. I know he’ll bring incredible depth and nuance to [his role]. I’m thrilled he’s on for this wild ride,” Yan added in a statement of her own.
Boyega recently starred in Sony’s The Woman King and the indie drama Breaking, and he’ll soon be seen alongside Jamie Foxx in the Netflix movie They Cloned Tyrone. As for Yan, she has directed episodes of Succession following her debut feature Dead Pigs and her subsequent follow-up, the Margot Robbie-led DC movie Birds of Prey.
This sounds like an interesting vehicle for Boyega, who could make for a charming romantic lead depending on who he’s paired with here. He’s represented by Identity Agency Group, while Yan is repped by CAA.