Jussie Smollett’s directing debut has found a home at BET+ and Mona Scott-Young has joined as producer. The streamer has picked up B-Boy Blues, which premieres on the streamer June 9.
Scott-Young is executive producing through Monami Entertainment and per Variety, was a big part of the deal getting done with BET+.
'B-Boy Blues' is the first project from Smollett after being found guilty of making false reports about an alleged hate crime.
Smollett was sentenced to 30 months of felony probation, including 150 days in jail, and a fine for making false reports to police.
B-Boy Blues is the film adaptation of James Earl Hardy’s novel of the same name. The film stars Timothy Richardson (David Makes Man), Ledisi (Selma), Brandee Evans (P-Valley), Heather B (The Real World), Marquise Vilson (Tom Swift), Jabari Redd (Goals), Broderick Hunter (Insecure), and Thomas Mackie. Smollett wrote the script as well.
The film follows the journey of two Black men, one who makes a career as a journalist (similar to Hardy’s career as a music journalist) and the other who works as a bike messenger. In 1995, the book became a Lambda Literary Award finalist for Best LGBT/Small Press Title. The book is described as a title that “continues to be a staple within the Black LGBTQ/Same Gender Loving community, spawning a series that has now sold millions worldwide.”
BET+ VP/GM Devin Griffin said of the deal for Smollett's directorial debut:
Through our content slate, we are intentional about representing the fullness of the Black experience, including that of the LGBTQ+ community. B-Boy Blues’ is an artful, heart-rending film about the complexity of love – something we all can relate to.”
Scott-Young said, “B-Boy Blues is a beautifully bold, funny, heartwarming bro-mance and I was thrilled to partner with Jussie to help this wonderful film gain greater exposure. Falling head over heels and fighting for love are universal emotions and experiences and we are so grateful to BET+ for shining a powerful spotlight on the still seriously underrepresented black LGBTQ+ community and bringing this impactful love story to an even greater audience.”
Smollett previously gave an exclusive statement to S&A about the film
In an exclusive statement to Shadow and Act, he told us, “We are all beyond honored to officially be part of the ABFF family. It’s the festival we prayed for and it’s the festival we got. To have a film like B-Boy Blues, that is entirely for us/by us, be acknowledged alongside these other crazy talented filmmakers and artists is something I don’t take lightly. Grateful is an understatement. See y’all in Miami.”
Along with directing, Smollett also produces the film through SuperMassive Movies, the newest arm of his Story Worthy Pictures production company. SuperMassive raised seven figures in collaboration with Tom Wilson, Cleveland, OH-based radio broadcast investor. The label’s funding will “help finance independent micro-budgeted projects from LGBTQ+, women and filmmakers of color.”