Jussie Smollett to Direct Adaptation of 'B-Boy Blues'

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday October 14, 2020

Jussie Smollett
Jussie Smollett  (Source:AP Photo/Matt Marton, File)

Jussie Smollett, the beleaguered former "Empire" star, will direct an adaptation of the 1994 best-selling book "B-Boy Blues" by James Earl Hardy, Deadline reports.

In "B-Boy Blues," a 27-year-old journalist, Mitchell Crawford, meets Raheim, a 21-year-old bicycle messenger and B-boy — a "banjee boy," embodying an urban, tough swagger. Mitchell sees a smart, charming, talented and loving father to a 5-year-old son in Raheim and falls in love. The two begin to navigate difficulties in their relationship — for instance, a streak of violence when Mitchell attempts to convince Raheim to come out and accept his homosexuality. Hardy also doesn't shy away from describing the sexual encounters of these two characters, which makes vivid their physical attraction to one another. The book was well regarded upon its release.

Filming begins in New York City on October 17, and will be produced by Smollett's newly-launched SuperMassive Movies, a subsidiary of his Story Worthy Pictures. Smollet has previously directed two episodes in the "Empire" series — "What is Done" and "Fair Terms."

Off set, Smollett faces legal challenges and court cases over an alleged "hate crime" attack in Chicago in January 2019. Following an initial investigation, police reported that the details of the incident didn't match up with Smollett's reporting of the crime and quickly entered into the court of public opinion. There are several pending lawsuits. Last month, Smollett filed again for charges against him to be dropped.

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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