John Boyega, who will soon be seen reprising his role as everyman hero Finn in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, has signed on to star in the Netflix thriller Rebel Ridge, which hails from Green Room writer-director Jeremy Saulnier, Collider has learned.
The project finds Saulnier returning to Netflix, which released his most recent film Hold the Dark starring Jeffrey Wright, Riley Keough and Alexander Skarsgard. Rebel Ridge will find Boyega playing an ex-marine who takes on a group of dirty cops in a high-velocity thriller that explores systemic American injustices through bone-breaking action sequences and dark humor.
A co-production between Filmscience and Bonneville Pictures, Rebel Ridge will be produced by Anish Savjani, Neil Kopp, Vincent Savino and Saulnier, while the director’s frequent collaborator Macon Blair will serve as an executive producer.
Saulnier started his career as a cinematographer before making his feature directorial debut with the 2007 indie Murder Party. That genre film opened some doors for him, but it never quite popped, and Saulnier returned to cinematography. It wasn’t until 2013’s Blue Ruin that Saulnier had his true breakout moment. Suddenly, he was red-hot in Hollywood, and the critical acclaim he achieved led to his follow-up effort Green Room, which in my mind, is one of the best horror movies of the decade. Talent was lining up to work with Saulnier, and he even convinced Patrick Stewart to play the leader of a group of skinheads. Saulnier went on to direct and executive produce multiple episodes of the most recent season of HBO’s True Detective.
In addition to the Star Wars franchise, Boyega’s credits include Kathryn Bigelow‘s Detroit and Joe Cornish‘s Attack the Block, as well as Pacific Rim: Uprising. He’s represented by the Identity Agency Group, and his casting was first reported by Variety. Saulnier is repped by CAA and Anonymous Content.