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John Boyega signs on for Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit riots movie

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John Phillips/Getty Images

After spending time in a galaxy far, far away, John Boyega is headed to Detroit.

The Star Wars actor has joined Kathryn Bigelow’s upcoming project, an untitled crime drama set against the 1967 Detroit riots. The film will reunite the director with screenwriter Mark Boal, who previously worked with Bigelow on The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty.

Plot details for the film are being kept under wraps, but the story is set during the 1967 riots, which left 43 people dead and resulted in more than 340 injuries over five sweltering summer days. Boyega’s exact role has yet to be revealed, but the film plans to address systemic racism in the city.

Annapurna Pictures is financing the project, which will begin principal photography this summer. No release date has been announced yet, but the plan is to release the film in 2017, pegged to the 50th anniversary of the riots.

The Detroit film is the latest high-profile project Boyega has lined up after his starring turn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens last year. He’ll soon appear opposite Emma Watson and Tom Hanks in the tech thriller The Circle, and he recently landed the lead role in Pacific Rim 2, as well as the starring role in a 2017 London production of George Büchner’s play Woyzeck. (He’ll also, of course, be reprising his role as Finn in Star Wars: Episode VIII.)

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Boyega also took to Twitter to share his involvement in the Bigelow project.

https://twitter.com/JohnBoyega/status/745324400078106626

https://twitter.com/JohnBoyega/status/745327661971542020

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