It's Kevin Spacey/Christopher Plummer all over again.
Back in February, it was revealed that Kian Lawley was fired from the male lead of "The Hate U Give" after videos of the YouTube star showed him using racist slurs. No one wants that -- in any case, but particularly for a movie framed around race -- so Fox planned to recast. Lawley even issued an apology saying he respected the decision to recast.
Well, the recast role has gone to "Riverdale" star K.J. Apa (Archie Andrews).
That's the scoop from Deadline, and the details do some reminiscent of the super-fast-reshoot schedule for Christopher Plummer when he replaced Kevin Spacey in "All the Money in the World." Deadline says Fox 2000 authorized a little over a week of reshoots for Apa to film his role. (Maybe he'll get super lucky and pick up an Oscar nomination for his time, too.)
"The Hate U Give" stars Amandla Stenberg a teen prep school student who witnesses a police officer murder her best friend. K.J. Apa will now play her boyfriend, one of the privileged white students attending Williamson.
"He never concerned himself with the different skin color of the girlfriend he adores, and knows little about her life back home. Until she becomes the only witness in the police shooting, and becomes increasingly political as she grieves the death of her friend Khalil. It awakens him to how deeply race impacts their relationship."
You can see why they wouldn't want someone with a history of racial slurs in the role.
The film is based on the novel by Angie Thomas, and costars Russell Hornsby, Issa Rae, Common, Regina Hall, and Algee Smith. Deadline says there are many scenes between the two leads, and also scenes involving crowds and the rest of the cast. It sounds like a lot to film a co-lead role in just over a week, but there you have it.
Apa has red hair as Archie on "Riverdale," but dark brown is his natural color. He darkened his hair for this movie, which is being filmed in Atlanta. He starts working with the rest of the cast today (April 4).
At least the film has no set release date at this point, so director George Tillman Jr. should have plenty of time to put the pieces together in the editing booth. Good luck!
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