EXCLUSIVE: John Boyega is set to headline and executive produce The Book of Eli, a TV series prequel to the 2010 post-apocalyptic action film that starred Denzel Washington in the title role, Deadline has learned. Boyega will play younger version of Washington’s Eli in the project, which hails from the movie’s writer, Gary Whitta, creator/writer/executive producer of the potential series, and its directors, the Hughes brothers, who executive produce. The film’s producer Alcon Entertainment is the studio on the TV project, which is about to be taken out to select premium buyers, I hear.
The neo-Western Book of Eli movie takes place 30 years after a nuclear catastrophe caused an ecocide. It revolves around Eli (Washington), a nomad who fights his way across a ravaged, post-apocalyptic America while protecting a sacred book that holds the secrets to humanity’s salvation.
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Details about the TV series are sketchy, but I hear it is set 30 years prior to the events in the film, which would put it around the time of the nuclear event or its immediate aftermath.
This marks one of the highest-profile, star-driven, IP-based packages to hit the premium TV marketplace since the end of the Hollywood strikes. While there have been a handful of deals so far, buying has been slow out of the gate. It is expected to pick up in early 2024, with The Book of Eli an example of the caliber of auspices and premise a TV package needs to stand out.
The 2010 Book of Eli, distributed by Warner Bros which is not involved in the TV prequel, was a box office success, earning $157.1 million worldwide on an $80 million budget. Below you can watch a trailer for the movie, which also starred Gary Oldman and Mila Kunis.
Known for his starring role in the Star Wars franchise, Boyega can be seen in Netflix’s 2023 pic They Cloned Tyrone opposite Jamie Foxx. His recent feature credits include Breaking, for which he shared the 2022 Sundance U.S. Special Jury Award for Ensemble Cast, and The Woman King. In TV, he starred in the Prime Video limited series Small Axe, which earned him Golden Globe and Critics Choice awards as well as a BAFTA nomination. Next up for Boyega is sci-fi romance The Freshening from director Cathy Yan. He is repped by UTA, UK’s Identity Agency Group and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.
Whitta, whose feature writing credits also include Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and After Earth, is repped by UTA, Circle of Confusion and Behr Abramson Levy Johnson.
The Hughes brothers is the moniker used by Allen and Albert Hughes. Allen is repped by WME and Adam Kaller of Hansen, Jacobson, Teller. Albert is with CAA and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman.
Alcon Entertainment’s TV slate includes the upcoming Prime Video series Blade Runner 2099, set 50 years after the Blade Runner movie sequel, Blade Runner 2049.
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