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Could "The Compton Cricket Club" Signal A Changing Of The Guard For Hollywood's Leading Men?

by Emmanuel Akitobi
February 12, 2012 3:37 PM
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The is reporting that despite industry heavyweights Denzel Washington and Jamie Foxx both vying for key roles in the planned upcoming film The Compton Cricket Club, studio heads are leaning more towards British actors Idris Elba and Adrian Lester.


The Compton Cricket Club will tell of English woman Katy Haber’s campaign to save a community by calming gang warfare in Los Angeles.

From The Express:

Movie bosses want British actors Idris Elba and Adrian Lester on board and Cold Feet’s Helen Baxendale is being lined up to play Haber, who became an MBE last month.

Film producer Haber said there had been huge interest from studios. “My vision is to create an academy, teaching youth about the sport,” she said.

The CCC, made up of ex-criminals, police and gang members, has toured the UK and Australia. A source said: “This story has everything: the drama of gang warfare, Katy’s determination to beat the odds and how the efforts saved kids from the streets.”

With Idris Elba snagging a Golden Globe this year for his work on the BBC's Luther, and Adrian Lester wrapping up a very successful run on the popular BBC series Hustle, their profiles have risen considerably, as of late.  Now, with word that they are favored for these possible roles, over Washington and Foxx, should we interpret this as some sort of shift in star-power?  Or is this just a case of movie execs preferring British actors to play British chararcters?  And the biggest question of all, probably, is "Do we really care to see yet another film about a white hero who shows up to save a minority group that just can't seem to save itself?"

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  • Tamara | February 13, 2012 1:46 PMReply

    ""Do we really care to see yet another film about a white hero who shows up to save a minority group that just can't seem to save itself?" <---waves weary flag on this.

  • LeonRaymond | February 12, 2012 8:09 PMReply

    I think Budget was the ruler on this one and the budget made the choices , nothing more or less!

  • AccidentalVisitor | February 12, 2012 6:38 PMReply

    I seriously doubt Denzel or Jamie have serious interest in the film at this time (well, at least not Denzel). It sounds like the type of misleading hype that producers and studios put out to get their POSSIBLE film project some pub.

  • Jug | February 12, 2012 5:14 PMReply

    How is it a shift in "old guard" of leading men? When was the last BIG name project that folks were falling all over themselves to cast Adrian Lester in (whom I love as an actor btw, he should be in more stuff-dude is a beast)? It's just producers casting British Actors because they're in vogue-whether the character is British or not. Just watched SANCUTM, a movie filmed in Australia with an all Australian cast & where the only "American" character was played by a Brit. It's just the trend of what everyone deems "good" or "quality" acting. Not going to even get into the business of pushing those quantities to international territories. There was a time when everyone wanted to hire a "method" actor because it was "oh so real". "Oh my god, he actually stayed awake for three days because his character did. AMAZING!!". Yeah LOL Now folks are hiring actors with skill & actual technique just as much as they hire method & other disciplines. Nothing big, just flavor of the month, sounds like a non-starter...unless you want to talk about roles not going to Americans LOL

  • Nicole | February 12, 2012 4:26 PMReply

    This just sounds like "movie execs preferring British actors to play British characters" to me. It's just one movie so it doesn't sound like a major shift.

    And as I read the synopsis, it sounded like another "white savior" movie. Just a British version.

  • Darkan | February 12, 2012 4:20 PMReply

    This whole article rings of "Black British Lead" propaganda. Why would any studio exec or producer in their right mind choose not to go with TWO Oscar winning actors?!! That's absurd. The line that stuck out to me is: "despite industry heavyweights Denzel Washington and Jamie Foxx both vying for key roles." Since when does Denzel Washington of all people have to vy for anything? This article reads bogus. Hell, I'm starting to think if Black British actors feel they can act better and tell the Black American experience in film better than Black American actors to hell with it, let them have at it. They won't be starring in any of my productions no time soon!

  • Darkan | February 12, 2012 6:36 PM

    @Boomslang, it does matter. If fair was fair then there are plenty of Black American actors who can fly to London, put on an English accent and play out the Black Brit experience but it doesn't happen.

  • Boomslang | February 12, 2012 6:13 PM

    @Darkan sour grapes ? To me they are just black people doesn't matter if they are from the UK or ATL

  • Cynthia | February 12, 2012 3:53 PMReply

    Oh my! You may be right about this Emmanuel.

  • Boomslang | February 13, 2012 2:45 PM

    But how many black american actors you know can emulate a cockney , a scouser or a geordie accent convingly ?. I bet not even one. Idris, Chiwi, Ameen etc. they've all been raised on a steady american diet like the rest of us.That's why they emulate those accents without the help of a coatch.

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