Back in 2018, we reported that Star Wars actor John Boyega and Black Panther star Letitia Wright would be starring in the highly-anticipated sci-fi love story, ‘Hold Back the Stars,‘ based on the 2017 book by Katie Khan.
As Shadow & Act now reports, the two stars are no longer attached to the project. Addressing their departure in a December interview with ABC Radio, Boyega stated that the film was heading in a direction that wasn’t culturally relevant enough for its Black leads.
“We just wanted to make the vibe more Black,” said the actor. “You got to choose the right music, the right vibe, the right tone,” he added. His comments reflect the desires of Black viewers for more nuanced representation in film, which is often captured in less obvious details like music, style, and language.
Originally under the direction of Mike Cahill, the film will be moving forward with director Justin Baldoni, though news of who will now star in the movie has not been announced.
While news of Boyega and Wright’s involvement in the love story—which has been described as a cross between “Romeo & Juliet meets Gravity—was initially met with excitement (we even included it in a list of movies we were most looking forward to in 2019), we respect the actors decision to put “artistic integrity” first and remove themselves from a project that wasn’t the Black love story they signed up for.
Both actors have since signed on to new projects, with Wright set to star in the upcoming thriller Silent Twins, and Boyega, who just wrapped his Star Wars contract, set to appear in the upcoming Netflix thriller, Rebel Ridge. They’re also both attached to a forthcoming anthology series from director Steve McQueen centered on London’s West Indian community—so it looks like we’ll still get to see the actors together on screen eventually.