B-Boy Blues, the feature directorial debut of Jussie Smollett has set its cast. Production on the film kicked off last Saturday in New York City. It is an adaptation of James Earl Hardy’s best-selling book of same name. The novel “hilariously and heartbreakingly explores the love and life of a middle class, politically conscious magazine editor Mitchell Crawford and a Harlem born and bred ruff-neck bike messenger Raheim.”
Shadow and Act has learned that the film’s cast includes Brandee Evans, Ledisi and Broderick Hunter, alongside the film’s leads, newcomers Timothy Richardson and Thomas Mackie as Mitchell and Raheim. Ledisi will play Mitchell’s mother, Ann Walker and Evans will be his assistant, Michi. Other cast members include: Landon G. Woodson (Gene), Michael Jackson, Jr. (B.D.), Marquise Vilson (Babyface), Jabari Redd (D.C.), Brian Lucas (Angel), Heather B. (Aunt Ruth), Eric R. Williams (Gordon) Otis Winston (Anderson), Tiesha Thomas (Chrystal), Jahleel Kamara (Junior), Andre Virgo (Calvin), Bry’Nt Bailey (Kareem), Ilara Phoenix Williams (Anjelica) and Sampson McCormick (Telly).
Smollett exclusively spoke to Shadow and Act about the film earlier this week, stating, “Like so many same-gender-loving, black men… B-Boy Blues was and continues to be a story that hits home for me in ways that not many people truly understand. With that said… it’s truly a universal story about Black on black love. I couldn’t be more psyched to have this project be my feature film directorial debut. To have someone as iconic as James Earl Hardy, trust me, to bring his vision to life is an honor I don’t take lightly. And to produce/finance it with the launch of my company, SuperMassive, which will invest in projects by LGBTQ+, women and filmmakers of color is what my life’s work has been for. I hope I do it justice, but with the cast and crew we’ve assembled… it’s looking damn Jood.”
The film’s crew is made up of 75% Black women and 60% queer-identifying people. The book was adapted by Smollett and Hardy, and they will producers alongside Wilson, Frank Gatson, Sampson McCormick, April Qualls and Madia Hill Scott. Smollett is producing the film through SuperMassive Movies, the newest arm of his Story Worthy Pictures production company. SuperMassive has raised seven figures in collaboration with Tom Wilson, Cleveland, OH-based radio broadcast investor. The label’s funding will “help finance independent micro-budgeted projects from LGBTQ+, women and filmmakers of color.”