Casting news: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, John Boyega and Sophia Brown land roles

The actors are attached to high-profile projects, including a prequel to Netflix's The Witcher, an adaptation of The Scent of Burnt Flowers, and more

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There are some big projects coming up for some of the best and brightest Black talents in Hollywood. Per recent announcements, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, John Boyega, and Sophia Brown have landed roles in major feature films and series.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II thegrio.com
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II attends the “Sweetness In The Belly” premiere during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival at Scotiabank Theatre on September 07, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Fresh off his Emmy winning role in HBO’s acclaimed series Watchmen, as well as his role in The Trial of the Chicago 7, Abdul-Mateen II is set to star in and executive produce The Scent of Burnt Flowers, an upcoming limited series. The series is based on a forthcoming debut novel from Blitz Bazawule, set to be published in 2022.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, “The potential series is set in the 1960s when the civil rights movement in the United States and the independence movement were at their zenith. It centers on a young Black couple who are on the run and a charismatic Ghanaian musician (Abdul-Mateen) whom they lean on to preserve their freedom. The story will also weave in magical realist elements, juxtaposing mermaids, military coups and love triangles in a geopolitical thriller.”

Boyega has certainly been busy since the final Star Wars film hit theaters in 2019. Boyega has officially replaced Lovecraft Country‘s Jonathan Majors in an indie film, 892. Boyega joins Michael K Williams, Nicole Beharie, Selenis Leyva, and Olivia Washington for the film, which officially started production in Los Angeles last week.

“With a script by [Abi Damaris] Corbin and Kwame Kwei-Armah, the story follows a Marine war veteran who faces mental and emotional challenges when he tries to reintegrate back into civilian life,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, John Boyega, and Sophia Brown thegrio.com
(Credit: AP/Instagram/Getty Images)

Finally, Brown of Girl/Haji, The Capture, and more is set to star in a The Witcher prequel series on Netflix. Entitled The Witcher: Blood Origin, the series originally had Jodie Turner-Smith as the lead role before Brown, but she reportedly had to leave due to scheduling conflicts.

Brown will take over the lead role of Éile, “an elite warrior who is blessed with the voice of a goddess. She has left her clan and position as a queen’s guardian to follow her heart as a nomadic musician. A grand reckoning on the Continent forces her to return to the way of the blade in her quest for vengeance and redemption.”

Per Variety, the official synopsis for the series reads: “Set in an elven world 1,200 years before the world of “The Witcher,” the prequel series “Blood Origin” will tell a story lost to time, including the creation of the first prototype Witcher and the events that lead to the pivotal Conjunction of the Spheres, when the worlds of monsters, men and elves merged to become one.”

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