May 25, 2017

Spike Lee casts “Attack the Block” star in HBO drama

By Sean O’Connell That was fast. In our story yesterday reporting Spike Lee’s deal with HBO to shoot a pilot surrounding Mike Tyson’s early days, we wondered who the director would cast as the savage heavyweight fighter.

The answer is John Boyega.

Currently starring in “Attack the Block,” Boyega has been cast as Donnie, a former juvenile delinquent who embarks on a personal journey toward redemption, THR reports. The character is based loosely on Tyson, though his name on the show (and the name of the show, itself) will be “Da Brick.”

THR adds that Milauna Jemai (“NCIS”), Julito McCullum (“The Wire”) and Kamahl Naiqui (“Gossip Girl”) also have been cast in the show, which is being described as “a contemporary exploration of what it means to be a young, black man in a supposedly post-racial America.” Lee will direct the pilot, while “L.A. Riots” writer John Ridley will act as showrunner.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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