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John Boyega Is Playing A Younger Version Of A Denzel Washington Character, And This Could Be One Of His Toughest Gigs Yet

 John Boyega as Finn in Star Wars.
John Boyega as Finn in Star Wars.

John Boyega has come a long way since he first fought alongside Chewbacca in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He's shown off his acting chops by starring in successful hits like the acclaimed historical action film The Woman King and one of the best Netflix movies of 2023, They Cloned Tyrone. Now, in what might be one of Boyega’s toughest gigs yet, he's set to headline a project in which he'll be playing a younger version of a memorable Denzel Washington character.

In one of the most intense dystopian movies, Denzel Washington prevented the apocalypse in 2010's The Book of Eli. His eponymous character was tasked with delivering a copy of a mysterious book on the West Coast -- one that was said to hold the secrets to saving humanity. If you’re curious about the tragedies that befell the world decades before the events of the film, the answers will soon come to you. Deadline reports that a prequel series starring and executive produced by John Boyega himself is in the works. He’ll be stepping into some big shoes, to say the least, as he takes on the role of Eli.

Honestly, this might be a tough role for the British actor, as he has to channel the same grit and gravitas of his predecessor in some ways. Nevertheless, I know he’s got this in the bag, since he's proven to be a gifted actor. During his tenure as Finn in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, he won a BAFTA Rising Star Award. He was also among the list of winners at the 2021 Golden Globe Awards for his performance in Steve McQueen's anthology series Small Ax (which is available with a Prime subscription). This talented star has brought his A-game in every role he’s taken on. So the task of succeeding an Oscar-winning actor may be large, but I know he’s got the skills to pull this off.

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There aren’t too many known details on The Book of Eli prequel series at this point. All we know so far via Deadline is that the John Boyega-headlined series will take place 30 years prior to the events of the 2010 film. Maybe that means it'll be set during or just after the nuclear holocaust that changed the world. We might also get to know how Eli gets a copy of his precious book and why there aren't any other duplicates of it.

It’s also said that the prequel series is the highest profile, star-driven show to hit the premium TV sphere since the end of the Hollywood strikes. Alcon Entertainment is the studio behind the project and is currently trying to find a home for it. Its reportedly been a slow buyout amongst a handful of potential buyers. Per the trade, it's expected that the show will be picked up sometime in early 2024.

This could be yet another major step for John Boyega from a professional standpoint, and it's honestly pretty perfect for him. I have a feeling this role will increase the Breaking actor's star power as we watch him kick ass in the upcoming series. I'd love to hear Denzel Washington's thoughts on the production and his successor. But knowing how complimentary he is of younger actors, I'm sure he'd be supportive of Boyega.

As you wait more news on the Book of Eli prequel series, check in with our 2024 TV schedule for information on offerings that are airing or set to arrive in the near future.