John Boyega Is Partnering With Netflix to Create Feature Films Focusing on Africa's Rich History of Storytelling

Illustration for article titled John Boyega Is Partnering With Netflix to Create Feature Films Focusing on Africa's Rich History of Storytelling
Photo: Tristan Fewings (Getty Images)

With the latest Star Wars installment now in his rearview, actor John Boyega is shifting his priorities to bring more diverse content to American audiences.


Variety reports that the 27-year-old’s U.K.-based production company, UpperRoom Productions, is joining forces with streaming media giant Netflix to develop film projects that will explore a wealth of stories about a place we all hold near and dear: The motherland.

“I am thrilled to partner with Netflix to develop a slate of non-English language feature films focused on African stories, and my team and I are excited to develop original material,” Boyega said in a tweet announcing the venture. “We are proud to grow this arm of our business with a company that shares our vision.”

On the heels of the release of Netflix’s first fully produced African original series, Queen Sono, the deal affirms the company’s commitment to expanding its scope beyond the tired tropes being churned out of Hollywood.

“Africa has a rich history in storytelling, and for Netflix, this partnership with John and UpperRoom presents an opportunity to further our investment in the continent while bringing unique African stories to our members both in Africa and around the world,” David Kosse, Netflix’s VP of international film, said.

Since becoming a household name with his breakthrough performance as Finn in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Peckham, London, England-born thespian collected his first producer credit with 2018’s Pacific Rim: Uprising before serving as an executive producer on 2019’s South African crime-thriller God is Good. The accompanying soundtrack will also be released on his record label, UpperRoom Records.


Much love to Boyega for not only killing it on screen but leveraging his career to create opportunities for others.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for y'all to stop putting sugar in grits.



Very cool. I hope they incorporate the art styles of indigenous peoples into the shows. Particularly if some of it is animated. I find art to be one of the best ways to learn about a new culture and I love seeing their myths, legends and stories told in a way that shows that off. It’s not as common in live action which is part of why I love animation so much.

To me animation is amazing so you can see how art developed in a particular part of the world since it is such a reflection of that part of the world’s history that rarely if not is impossible to have replicated anywhere else without embracing that history.