‘The Freshening’: Cathy Yan To Direct John Boyega In Long-Awaited Sci-Fi Romance

Cathy Yan got a raw deal when her last film, the awesome DCEU team-up flick Birds of Prey, opened right at the cusp of COVID-19 lockdown. Things have been quiet for Yan since then, with only an episode of HBO’s Succession to her directing credits. But that’s about to change, as her long-developing passion project, The Freshening, has finally gotten moving. And not only that but she’s found her star and a couple of high-powered producers.

Deadline reports that John Boyega has stepped up to star in The Freshening, which will finally begin shooting later this year. The sci-fi romance takes place in a world where racial tensions are so high that a drug is created that forces people to see everyone as the same race and gender. But things get turned upside down when a new drug emerges that sets things back to normal.

The film is being produced by Adam McKay’s Hyperobject Industries, along with comedian Ali Wong, and FilmNation Entertainment.

Yan had this say about Boyega’s casting…

“It’s a dream to work with John Boyega, a singular talent whose commitment to his craft and willingness to take risks have delivered such memorable, wide-ranging performances,” said Yan. “I know he’ll bring incredible depth and nuance to Reese. I’m thrilled he’s on for this wild ride.”

Boyega was most recently seen looking like a B-movie drug kingpin in The Woman King. His next film is Netflix sci-fi comedy They Cloned Tyrone which opens this summer.

Also on Yan’s plate is a live-action series adaptation of Paprika for Amazon Studios. It’s unclear where that fits into her schedule, but presumably, The Freshening takes priority.

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.