John Boyega signs Netflix deal to produce African movies

By Adetayo Opeyemi

British-born actor, John Boyega, has announced a deal with Netflix, the online streaming giant, to produce movies that are centred on Africa.

The deal with Netflix means that Boyega’s company, UpperRoom Productions, will produce a series of movies focused on African stories from West Africa (Nigeria) and East Africa (Egypt).

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These stories will include mythology, classics and Nollywood classics, according The Hollywood Reporters.

This comes on the heels of Netflix’s commitment to strengthen its investments in Africa. Netfix’s vice president of international originals, Erik Barmack, stated the company’s intention to definitely commission series from Africa in 2019 at the Content London conference.

He added that the company is “in the process of looking at opportunities in Africa.’’

This is a move to diversify contents for its global audience in order to make available a large pool of original stories reflecting the history and nuances of different audiences across the world.

Erik Barmack went ahead to predict that in a matter of years, “half of the top 10 most-watched shows in a given year are going to come from outside of the US.’’

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Boyega, while reacting to the deal, said “I am thrilled to partner with Netflix to develop a slate of non-English language feature films focused on African stories and my team and I are excited to develop original materials.’’

‘’We are proud to grow this arm of our business with a company that shares our vision.’’

The ‘Star Wars’ actor rose to prominence in the United Kingdom after starring  in Attack the Block (2011), Half of a Yellow Sun (2013), The Force Awakens (2015), and The Last Jedi (2019).

It is expected that Netflix will ink other similar deals with other companies to produce original stories on other parts of Africa in the coming months.

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