Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
 Toni Morrison Breaks Down Race as a Social Construct to Stephen Colbert Toni Morrison Breaks Down Race as a Social Construct to Stephen Colbert Wow! BBC Announces That Idris Elba Will Return for a 2-Part 'Luther' Event Series in 2015 Wow! BBC Announces That Idris Elba Will Return for a 2-Part 'Luther' Event Series in 2015 Lupita Nyong'o Will Star in Mira Nair's 'Queen of Katwe' Film Adaptation (On Ugandan Chess Prodigy Phiona Mutesi) Lupita Nyong'o Will Star in Mira Nair's 'Queen of Katwe' Film Adaptation (On Ugandan Chess Prodigy Phiona Mutesi) Whoa! Steve McQueen & Harry Belafonte Are Teaming Up on a Paul Robeson Film. Will Be His Next Feature Whoa! Steve McQueen & Harry Belafonte Are Teaming Up on a Paul Robeson Film. Will Be His Next Feature Fox Is Developing an American Remake of 'Luther' (But Not with Idris Elba Starring) Fox Is Developing an American Remake of 'Luther' (But Not with Idris Elba Starring) Chris Rock on That Stubborn Burden of Representation Thing ("Black Fame" vs "White Fame") Chris Rock on That Stubborn Burden of Representation Thing ("Black Fame" vs "White Fame") White Women in LA Will Be Empowered by Black Women in New Series 'Bye Felicia!' (Watch Clip) White Women in LA Will Be Empowered by Black Women in New Series 'Bye Felicia!' (Watch Clip) Did Anyone Actually Like Lifetime's Aaliyah Movie? Also, Producer Wendy Williams Takes on Backlash Did Anyone Actually Like Lifetime's Aaliyah Movie? Also, Producer Wendy Williams Takes on Backlash Review: Refreshingly Diverse 'Big Hero 6' Will Make Kids and Science Lovers of all Ages Giddy Review: Refreshingly Diverse 'Big Hero 6' Will Make Kids and Science Lovers of all Ages Giddy Weekend B.O. Nov.14-16 (Why Didn’t 'Beyond the Lights' Light Up at the Box Office?) Weekend B.O. Nov.14-16 (Why Didn’t 'Beyond the Lights' Light Up at the Box Office?) Your Thoughts on 'Beyond the Lights' Now That It's in Theaters? Your Thoughts on 'Beyond the Lights' Now That It's in Theaters? Gina Prince-Bythewood Wants to Eliminate the Term "Black Film" Gina Prince-Bythewood Wants to Eliminate the Term "Black Film" Review: Five Things Missing from 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' Review: Five Things Missing from 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' White People Don't Get It Because They Never Had to White People Don't Get It Because They Never Had to Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Actors Cast to Play Missy Elliot, Timbaland, Damon Dash in Aaliyah Biopic Actors Cast to Play Missy Elliot, Timbaland, Damon Dash in Aaliyah Biopic Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Indie Feature Film Inspired By 2008 'Honeytrap Murder' Case Secures Funding, Starts Production

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act September 4, 2013 at 1:38PM

Indie Feature Film Inspired By 2008 'Honeytrap Murder' Case Secures Funding, Starts Production
0

Malachi Kirby, Simona Zivkovska, John Boyega In BBC3's MY MURDER
Malachi Kirby, Simona Zivkovska, John Boyega In BBC3's MY MURDER

John Boyega (Attack The BlockDa Brick) starred in a BBC3 docu-drama production based on the on the 2008 murder of teenager Shakilus Townsend titled My Murder.

And now, an independent film production based on that real-life story began what will be a 4-week shoot, today, in London. And unlike the BBC3 docu-drama (mixed documentary and scripted elements), this new project is entirely scripted, and will be based on the story, but, as the filmmakers state, will tell it from a different POV.

First, a quick recap...

Also known as the "Honeytrap murder," the true story tells of how then 16-year-old Shakilus Townsend was lured to his death by a girl he really liked (Samantha Joseph, also 16), and whom he apparently thought felt the same way about him, but clearly didn't.

The disturbing act by Samantha Joseph was all in an attempt to get back with her older ex boyfriend, Danny McLean

She was dating both Townsend and McLean simultaneously; McLean eventually found out and dumped her. She wanted him back, and essentially made a pact with McLean that she'd bring Townsend to him for what was to be a thrashing.

Joseph led Townsend to McLean, who was with his brothers and friends (members of a South London gang), where Joseph was beaten with a baseball bat, and stabbed in the chest five times; he later died from huge amounts of blood loss.

The group responsible for his death, including the young lady who willingly lead him to it, were all convicted of murder in 2009.

In the BBC3 project, John Boyega played Shakilus Townsend, Simona Zivkovska was Samantha Joseph, and Malachi Kirby as the older Danny McLean; it aired in the spring of 2012.

In the indie film project that started production today, the story will unfold via the POV of the girl, Samantha Joseph. 

Here's their description of it:

Yearning for love and status, fifteen-year-old Layla is swept into a whirlwind romance with self-styled gang leader/rapper Troy - and then spat out the other side. Desperate to win Troy back, Layla offers to set up the boy who's in love with her to be killed… When the forces she sets in motion start to collide, Layla must choose: between two boys, between desire and friendship, between power and connection to another human being. We have not seen a character like Layla take centre stage before and it is time her story was told.

So it sounds like it might be more of an "inspired by" production than a direct translation.

Previously titled Honeytrap: Layla's Story, the film is written and directed by Rebecca Johnson, a 10-year filmmaking veteran, who has directed several short films that have played the international film festival circuit, winning acclaim and awards along the way.

Her "trademark style" includes utilizing drama workshops with talents from the communities in which her films are set, to generate material and pull out incredibly naturalistic performances from usually young, untrained actors.

And it looks like she and her production team are planning to make Honeytrap in very much the same way, adding the following:

We know HONEYTRAP is a contentious story. It not only tackles difficult issues without easy solutions but it is very different from other recent UK films set in gang culture. HONEYTRAP will feel more like independent US films such as Sin Nombre, Monster or Boys Don’t Cry. It will be cinematic and beautiful, capturing the yearning and obsessive fantasies that drive the story. We want to make it now. HONEYTRAP is a story with contemporary resonance that needs to be made and seen NOW! After three years of writing, we now have a story that is tight, heart-wrenching and extremely powerful. We are ready and we don’t want to wait!

Jessica Sula
Jessica Sula

An IndieGoGo campaign with a $75,000 goal, was launched to help fund the film much earlier this year. The campaign now long-ended, raised just over $40,000 - not the entire $75,000, but it looks like the project got the rest of the funding needed from elsewhere - specifically, grant funding from the Walcot Foundation and Trusthouse Charitable Foundation; as well as an Anchor Bay pre-sale.

Walking Dead star Laurie Holden jump onboard the project as an executive producer.

The film stars Skins actress Jessica Sula, alongside Lucien Leon Laviscount, Ntonga Mwanza and Naomi Ryan (Doctor Who).

Sarah Sulick of Bright Pictures is producing the low-budget drama, which was developed with the BFI/UKFC and has been financed through a combination of crowdfunding via Indiegogo; 

Nothing to see yet obviously, since filming started today; but here's the sales pitch used for the project's Indiegogo campaign:

This article is related to: John Boyega


Shadow & ActNewsletter