Embattled “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett will make his directorial debut this week in the Big Apple with “B-Boy Blues,” an adaptation of James Earl Hardy’s best-selling book from 1994.
Smollett — who is charged with staging a hate-crime attack against himself in January 2019 — will also produce the feature through his just-launched SuperMassive Movies, Deadline reported.
The movie chronicles the troubled relationship between two black men — Mitchell Crawford, a 27-year-old journalist, and Raheim Rivers, a 21-year-old bike messenger, or B-boy, who meet at a Greenwich Village bar in 1993.
“B-Boy Blues” will go into production in New York City on Oct. 17.
It and SuperMassive Movies — which focuses on funding independent works from LGBTQ+, women and filmmakers of color — are financed by Cleveland-based Radio Broadcast investor, Tom Wilson, Deadline said.
Smollett, 38, has won five National Association for the Advancement of Colored People awards, including for Best Supporting Actor on “Empire.” He has directed two episodes of the hit Fox drama.
In February, Smollett was indicted for a second time on charges of lying to police about being the victim of a racist, anti-gay attack near his downtown Chicago apartment.
The charges came from a special prosecutor who was appointed after Cook County prosecutors dropped the same charges in March 2019.
Smollett was accused of directing the hoax attack — and paying two pals $3,500 to help him — in an effort to boost his profile because he was unhappy with his salary on “Empire.”
He has denied the charges. In September, he insisted he’s innocent and that the case against him is “bulls–t.”
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