Attention, sci-fans: the 2010 film starring Denzel Washington, The Book of Eli, is set to receive a star-studded prequel treatment. Who’s the star, you ask? None other than John Boyega, of Star Wars fame. Boyega will, in fact, not only star in the project—which is a series, rather than a film—but also executive produce it.
The Book Of Eli
If you’re a fan of the post-apocalyptic genre, you’ve probably at least heard of the movie inspiring the prequel show, which was directed by the Hughes brothers and penned by Gary Whitta. A Neo-Western film, it takes place in a bleak, definitively dystopian United States 30 years after a nuclear catastrophe.
As could perhaps be inferred from the title: The Book of Eli follows the journey of Eli, played by Washington, a lone nomad, a la Clint Eastwood in non-apocalyptic Westerns, who sojourns through a Fallout-esque world. All the while, Eli closely guards a sacred and mysterious book, allegedly containing secrets to saving humanity.
The Prequel Series
What with being a prequel, the upcoming series will delve into the decades preceding Eli’s original saga–30 years prior, to be exact. It will likely focus on the onset of the nuclear war and its immediate consequences. Obviously, the prospect presents an intriguing opportunity to expand the universe of The Book of Eli and explore both its origins and those of its main character.
With a name like Boyega’s attachment to the show’s cast and its production team, the project should benefit from some considerable hype. The actor enjoys a respected and beloved global reputation built on his work in the Star Wars franchise. Recent hits of his also include the excellent Netflix sci-fi horror-comedy They Cloned Tyrone, which Boyega starred in, as well as The Woman King and Amazon’s award-winning Small Axe.
Indeed, Boyega is a versatile actor if there ever was one—it’s often hard to believe he’s British, for example, given how convincingly he plays Americans. Plus, his involvement in the Book of Eli prequel should contribute a fresh perspective to the franchise and invite younger viewers, many of whom probably won’t have heard of, let alone seen, the original Denzel film.
Perhaps as exciting as Boyega’s involvement is Gary Whitta’s. The writer’s portfolio includes some heavy hitters: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, for one, and the sci-fi film After Earth, starring Will and Jayden Smith. Whitta, like Boyega, will multitask, functioning as an executive producer, creator, and writer on the series.
The Hughes Brothers
Sci-fi fans may also know that the Hughes brothers (Albert and Allen) lent their directorial skills to the original film, so their involvement in the prequel series should inspire confidence. They’ll also function as executive producers, all of which will probably ensure the show remains true to the film’s spirit.
The Book of Eli prequel appears ambitious and aiming for prestige TV status. This would be especially welcome in a post-Hollywood strikes landscape starved for quality and content.
The Original’s Reception
The 2010 film, it should be noted, was a financial success, netting $157.1 million worldwide; the prequel show’s production company, Alcon Entertainment, probably intends to seize similar returns.
It’s also worth mentioning that Alcon is also behind the upcoming Blade Runner 2099 for Prime Video, demonstrating their commitment to high-budget sci-fi.