Audiences continue to be blessed with seeing Yahya Abdul-Mateen II pop up in blockbuster franchises and Film Twitter favorites alike, both on the big screen and on television as well. The rapidly rising star is now adding yet another feather in his cap with the news that he’ll be joining a dystopian crime thriller — one that has a premise founded in one of the most fraught topics in current politics.
The Hollywood Reporter brings the news that Abdul-Mateen II has signed on to star in By All, a thriller to be directed by Steve Caple Jr. (Creed II, the currently-filming Transformers: Rise of the Beasts). Precise details aren’t yet known, but the original story is described as starting “…in the aftermath of a tragic event and follows Donte, a man struggling to make ends meet who is forced to go on the run in a world without police, where justice is crowd-sourced.” THR also adds that Abdul-Mateen II and Caple Jr. were both drawn to the project based on “…its provocative and timely premise about the imbalance of power in communities and how it warps the sense of responsibility, family and friendship.”
Obviously, a movie that comes loaded with as much subtext as this (if a total lack of police officers can even be called “subtext” rather than outright text) is likely to draw eyeballs and attention, given the many serious policing issues plaguing people of color in the United States throughout the years. It’s encouraging that two Black talents such as Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Steve Caple Jr. have signed on and thus given their tacit endorsement of the project, which sounds like it could easily go wrong in a hurry without the right hands guiding the wheel. Hopefully, this film won’t become a lightning rod used as fodder among disingenuous bad-faith political pundits.
More Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Everything, Please
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and his agent deserve all the kudos, honestly. Most audiences were introduced to the star with his villainous turn as Black Manta in Aquaman as well as in Jordan Peele’s Us, instantly showing himself to be a charismatic screen presence. He then parlayed this success into a starring role in HBO’s Watchmen series, a continuation of Alan Moore’s graphic novel where Abdul-Mateen II established himself as the formidable Doctor Manhattan. This performance netted him a much-deserved Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series.
Abdul-Mateen II will next be seen in Nia DaCosta’s Candyman, followed swiftly by his mysterious role in the equally-as-mysterious Matrix 4, the Michael Bay film Ambulance, the currently-filming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and finally George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road prequel film, Furiosa.
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