Thus far, it seems like John Boyega is the only star (of all the young black men) from this summer's Brit hit Attack The Block to see his profile enjoy any real post-Attack The Block push (here in the USA anyway), scoring the lead role in the Spike Lee-directed boxing drama for HBO titled Da Brick. And rightfully so I suppose; he was the film's hero!
Earlier this year, one of the other actors that made up the young, lean posse of alien killers, Franz Drameh, scored a role in a drama titled Now Is Good, which stars Dakota Fanning as a teenager diagnosed with a terminal illness, scheduled for a mid-2012 release. However, Franz's role appears minor; but he'll get his first post-Attack The Block starring role in a short commissioned by B3 Media / BBC Writersroom.
Titled Painkiller, the film is described as a…
… short black comedy which sees street-smart Dominic’s armed robbery of a convenience store go wrong when he crosses paths with hard-working Jay, a taxi driver with nothing left to lose. Mutual contempt soon turns into a kind of understanding, but not without some pain along the way.
18-year-old Franz plays Dominic, as the below trailer for the film shows – though I certainly hope he gets to play other roles and isn't forever stuck as the street-smart hood he already played in Attack The Block. Although, from all I've learned recently about opportunities for young black actors in the UK, he might have to head west to Hollywood for the potential to vary his offerings, as ridiculous as that might sound, given what's available for young black actors in the USA.
Directed by Mustapha Kseibati, Painkiller is being produced as part of the CINEAST slate – a digital short film programme produced by BBC Writersroom and B3 Media, which aims to support, develop and produce short films from the next wave of cutting-edge black, Asian and minority ethnic writing, directing and acting talent from the UK.
Four digital shorts were commissioned earlier this year (Painkiller apparently being 1 of them), and are now in the latter stages of post-production, and will premiere before the end of the year in two industry showcases.
And whenever it turns up online, it'll be shared here.
For now, here's the teaser trailer: