John Boyega is said to be one of 3 young actors “testing” for the coveted lead role opposite Colin Firth, in 20th Century Fox and Matthew Vaughn’s adaptation of the graphic novel, The Secret Service.
According to Variety, 300: Rise of an Empire‘s Jack O’Connell, and Magic City‘s Christian Cooke are testing for the role as well – the role being that of the young secret agent that is mentored by Firth’s veteran agent.
These are the 3 actors on director Vaughn’s short list. There were apparently others (recognizable *name* actors) being considered for the part, but Fox decided to go with a rising star who won’t demand as much money.
The role of the young agent is said to be a career-launching/making job for any of the three actors listed above, who are testing for the part.
The Secret Service comic tells the story of a young hooligan from a rough London neighborhood, who gets recruited by his uncle into a British spy school – the kind that churns out suave, sophisticated gentlemen-agent types in the 007 mold.
“This is James Bond meets My Fair Lady,” said creator Mark Millar, in describing the comic previously, when the project was first announced months ago.
It’s apparently a big project at Fox, with high expectations, so if Boyega is selected for the coveted role, it would be a coup for him – especially since he really hasn’t been used much Stateside, since he burst onto the scene in Attack The Block, 2 years ago, heralding him as baby-Denzel Washington.
I think I speak for many when I say that there’s an anticipation for what he’s going to do next. Not that he hasn’t done anything. We just haven’t seen the work yet. There was the BBC3 docu-drama based on the 2008 murder of teenager Shakilus Townsend titled My Murder. It aired in the UK, but not in the USA. Although you can find it online if you looked for it.
Also, HBO shelved Da Brick, which was directed by Spike Lee, and based on Mike Tyson’s life.
And there’s the film adaptation of celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Orange Prize-winning novel, Half Of A Yellow Sun, which still hasn’t premiered yet.
There was also the British indie sci-fi feature titled Creeping Zero, to be directed by Billy O’Brien. No word on where that stands currently.
Most recently, he signed up to star alongside Clare Bowen and Jason Isaacs in Zimbambwean filmmaker Sunu Gonera’s Riding with Sugar.
And there’ve been others. So he’s been busy – just not here in the USA. Although, except for one of them, just about all the projects he’s been attached to since Attack The Block, haven’t materialized yet, or, in the case of Da Brick, got shelved.
A high-profile project like this adaptation of The Secret Service could certainly give his profile a boost. Although, the fact that he’s actually being considered for the part says something.
Whether or not he’ll get it, is a toss up.
Marv Films will finance and produce the film, based on the comic series by Mark Millar and David Gibbons. Production is expected to start this fall.