John Boyega first found fame in the 2011 indie favorite Attack The Block and emerged as an international star in joining the mighty Star Wars franchise. Recently, the outspoken British-Nigerian actor has become the subject of chatter online that suggests he walked off the set of a Netflix film right in the middle of production, prompting many to rally around him by way of the #IStandWithJohnBoyega hashtag.
The discussion comes after The Hollywood Reporter published an article examining the happenings behind the scenes that lead up to Boyega reportedly leaving the set of Netflix’s Rebel Ridge earlier in June. Citing “family reasons,” Netflix didn’t provide more detail than that in their statement and a scramble has been on to find Boyega’s replacement and delaying the film until recording can resume in 2022.
Sources who were close to the story told THR that there were several issues Boyega contended with on the set, including the writing in the script to his accommodations. Those same sources say that Boyega left the production of the film without letting the filmmakers and producers know he had intended to leave. While the narrative is currently being painted that Boyega simply left the filmmakers in a lurch, his agent says otherwise.
“I can categorically say that these rumours are completely untrue,” Femi Oguns, Boyega’s agent, shared in a statement. “People will form their opinions often rooted from boredom. As stated John unfortunately left due to family reasons which in truth is none of anyone’s business except his own. John and Netflix have a wonderful relation which will continue to grow for years to come whether that be through his acting or through [Boyega’s production company] UpperRoom.
Boyega found himself increasingly frustrated with the Star Wars fandom, and with police brutality against Black people here in the United States and in London, aligning himself with activist groups and growing more outspoken. Boyega famously took to social media and made a stand against those fans and others who believe he shouldn’t use his voice to discuss issues outside of film and television.
Since THR‘s report, many are wondering out loud if the talented 29-year-old star is being shut out from Hollywood circles due to his involvement with Black Lives Matter and speaking out against Disney, which owns the rights to the vast Star Wars franchise. Folks on Twitter are also wondering if Boyega’s radio silence on Twitter and removal of his name verification is part of some wider plot. However, it appears that folks are largely throwing their support behind John Boyega as they await his next starring role.
Check out the reactions below.