John Boyega compares franchise roles to being in a ‘luxury prison’

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Whilst promoting his role in Steve McQueen’s Red, White and Blue, John Boyega has been giving his thoughts on the nature of franchise filmmaking.

John Boyega continues to speak plainly about his thoughts, following his high-profile and much-publicised comments on race during last year’s Black Lives Matter protests and his comments on Disney’s handling of his character in the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

Now, (via Cinemablend) whilst promoting Red, White And Blue, part of the Small Axe anthology directed by Steve McQueen, Boyega has discussed his thoughts on the direction he sees his career going in, and it doesn’t seem like it includes a wealth of sequel-driven, bug-budget sagas.

States Boyega, “being in a big franchise, it’s kind of like luxury jail sometimes for an actor when you want to do something else. Because remember, in a franchise you’re working on one character for many years, which can starve your other muscles. And in wanting to be in something where I knew that I’d play a different type of role, a different type of man, and then knowing Steve through, we’re all a part of the same industry so I’d heard about Steve’s directing style, I was really really curious and excited to have the opportunity anyway to be a part of it. And when it came through I was on the telly like ‘this is my moment”.

He certainly makes a good point. For an actor concerned with his craft, the idea of being stuck performing chiefly as one character could certainly be unappealing, and Boyega certainly has experience of this, with his three appearances as Finn in the Star Wars prequels eating up a great deal of his career over the the last five or six years.

Still, Boyega has previously spoken about his dissatisfaction regarding his experiences on Star Wars, so perhaps at some point he might be tempted back to franchise filmmaking to see if a different venture might yield a more positive experience.

For the time being however, Boyega’s slate contains a number of interesting standalone projects such as the upcoming Naked Singularity and the currently-filming They Cloned Tyrone. For the moment at last, it looks like Boyega is exactly where he wants to be, making the type of films that he feels suited for.

Naked Singularity is currently set for a 2021 release and you can catch all of Steve McQueen’s Small Axe films on BBC iPlayer.

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