BREAKING: Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ John Boyega will hit the boards in 2017 in an adaptation of Woyzeck at the Old Vic. The ubiquitous Jack Thorne will script the adaptation of the iconic story about a lowly, downtrodden soldier who ends up killing his wife. The Old Vic’s Matthew Warchus cast Boyega in the title role. Boyega has previously had minor roles in the National Theatre and The Tricycle in Kilburn but this will be his first leading role in a major theatrical production.
The character of Woyzeck originated out of an unfinished 1879 play Georg Buchner. He has been described as the first genuine working class hero — albeit a tragic one — and Buchner’s drama was hugely influential, often cited as the beginning of modern theater. It is the source of Alban Berg’s seminal 1922 opera Wozzeck. In 1979, Werner Herzog adapted the play into a feature film with Klaus Kinski in the title role.
The talented Boyega landed his first film lead in Joe Cornish’s 2011 Attack the Block. From there he worked steadily — including roles in 24: Live Another Day– before exploding to global fame in JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He is currently filming Episode VIII. Boyega has The Circle, opposite Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, in the pipelines.
It’s a miracle Jack Thorne finds the time to write anything more these days. Arguably the UK’s hottest and most prolific writer, Thorne is- as Deadline revealed- adapting Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials as an event TV series for BBC One, New Line and Bad Wolf. The 37-year-old most recently wrote Sky Atlantic’s well-received crime series The Last Panthers, with Tahar Rahim and Samantha Morton, for which he has received a best drama series BAFTA nomination. Thorne also got noms for best mini-series for his work on Shane Meadows’ This Is England ’90 and completed his hat-trick with a third nom for best single drama for Don’t Take My Baby.
His latest miniseries, an original four-parter for Channel 4, National Treasure, starring Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters and Andrea Riseborough is currently in production. The Forge is producing.
Thorne is repped by Casarotto, Ramsay and Associates and WME.
Boyega is repped by Identity Agency Group and WME.