John Boyega has been cast in the leading role of the upcoming sci-fi romance film The Freshening. The project is based on the 2018 short story written by Rachel Khong in the Paris Review and will be directed by Cathy Yan (Birds of Prey). The report of Boyega‘s casting comes from Deadline, who also states that filming for the project is set to begin later this year. News of an adaptation of Khong‘s short story was first announced back in February 2021.
In addition to being the film’s director, Yan will also serve as the film’s writer and a producer on the film alongside Ash Sarohia via Rewild. Other producers currently attached to the film include FilmNation Entertainment, Ali Wong, and Hyperobject Industries’ Adam McKay and Betsy Koch. Deadline also provided a statement from the producers, who said, “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.”
Boyega is the only announced cast member as of now, with the team currently in the process of additional casting. Yan also provided her own statement to Deadline, in which she said, “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 Reese. I’m thrilled he’s on for this wild ride.” Boyega is currently coming off The Woman King as his latest released project, with his next film being They Cloned Tyrone, where he will star alongside Jamie Foxx, Kiefer Sutherland, and Teyonah Parris.
The Story of The Freshening
The Freshening takes place in the near future America where conflicts of race and gender have reached an all-new boiling point with the violence over the subjects becoming so extreme that the U.S. government intervenes and initiates something known as “The Freshening.” The titular health initiative forces every American to take an injection that will make everyone see each other as the same gender and race as themselves. When a new drug that promises to allow people to see each other as they really are, Sam and Reese, the latter being played by Boyega, will decide if they wish to challenge and disrupt this “freshened world.”
Stay tuned to Collider for future updates on The Freshening. You can read the official logline for the film below:
In an America of the “freshening” — where everyone is only able to see their own race and gender — Sam and Reese meet on a drug that temporarily reverses its effects.