Ledisi, Brandee Evans, Broderick Hunter, And More Announced In Casting For 'B-Boy Blues' Film
On October 14, "B-Boy Blues" author James Earl Hardy spoke exclusively with Living Out Loud 2.0 about the excitement surrounding the film adaptation of his groundbreaking 1994 novel, but casting for the project had yet to be confirmed. A lot can change in a week. Shadow And Act have confirmed a slew of familiar names and fresh faces that are slated to bring the beloved characters to life on the big screen under the direction of Jussie Smollett.
“B-Boy Blues,” a staple story within the LGBTQ+ community, follows the relationship of 27-year-old journalist Mitchell Crawford and 21-year-old bicycle messenger Raheim Rivers, who meet at a gay bar in Greenwich Village during the summer of 1993. Rivers is known as a “B-boy” or “banjee boy,” which is a term that originated in ballroom culture to describe someone with a tough exterior. However, as Crawford gets to know Rivers, he discovers that though he is a loving father to his 5-year-old son, he has a history of violence.
Shadow and Act has learned that the film's cast includes Brandee Evans, Ledisi, and Broderick Hunter, alongside the film's leads, newcomers Timothy Richardson and Thomas Mackie as Mitchell and Raheim. Ledisi will play Mitchell's mother, Ann Walker and Evans will be his assistant, Michi. Other cast members include: Landon G. Woodson (Gene), Michael Jackson, Jr. (B.D.), Marquise Vilson (Babyface), Jabari Redd (D.C.), Brian Lucas (Angel), Heather B. (Aunt Ruth), Erik Williams (Gordon) Otis Winston (Anderson), Tiesha Thomas (Chrystal), Jahleel Kamara (Junior), Andre Virgo (Calvin), Bry’Nt Bailey (Kareem), Ilara Phoenix Williams (Anjelica) and Sampson McCormick (Telly).
Smollett exclusively spoke to Shadow and Act about the film earlier this week, stating, “Like so many same-gender-loving, black men... B-Boy Blues was and continues to be a story that hits home for me in ways that not many people truly understand. With that said... it’s truly a universal story about Black on black love. I couldn’t be more psyched to have this project be my feature film directorial debut. To have someone as iconic as James Earl Hardy, trust me, to bring his vision to life is an honor I don’t take lightly. And to produce/finance it with the launch of my company, SuperMassive, which will invest in projects by LGBTQ+, women and filmmakers of color is what my life’s work has been for. I hope I do it justice, but with the cast and crew we’ve assembled... it’s looking damn Jood."
Shadow and Act also reports that the film's crew is made up of 75% Black women and 60% queer-identifying people. The book was adapted by Smollett and Hardy, and they will producers alongside Wilson, Frank Gatson, Sampson McCormick, April Qualls, and Madia Hill Scott. Smollett is producing the film through SuperMassive Movies, the newest arm of his Story Worthy Pictures production company.