What is the reason for John Boyega’s abrupt exit from Netflix’s “Rebel Ridge”? A Netflix spokesman claimed “family concerns” for its Star Wars actor’s resignation from the $25 million movie, which was still in the works, but sources say he simply walked away.
Star Wars star John Boyega abruptly left Netflix’s Rebel Ridge production earlier this month “for family reasons,” according to a statement published by the streaming service at the time. However, according to some accounts, Boyega just walked away from the production while filming was still going on, which the directors only discovered when they looked for him at his hotel and discovered that he had checked out. According to insiders, there did not appear to be a single event that drove Boyega to leave the set in the middle of filming. According to several insiders, the star had a slew of difficulties ranging from the script to his accommodations.
According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter:
Top Netflix executives, including head of global films Scott Stuber and co-CEO Ted Sarandos, tried to persuade the star to return to the set without success.
Dozens of crewmembers on the project were let go after Boyega’s departure as the production disbanded. The shutdown may be temporary, however. Sources say the new plan is to resume shooting with a new lead early next year.
Industry veterans say they cannot remember an instance in which a star walked away from a movie when filming was underway. “I know actors who wanted to back out of a movie, but nobody actually bails,” says one top executive who is not involved with the movie. “Not once they started shooting.”
Boyega’s London-based agent, Femi Oguns, denied in an email that Boyega had unceremoniously exited the project. “I can categorically say that these rumours are completely untrue,” he wrote. “People will form their opinions often rooted from boredom. As stated John unfortunately left due to family reasons which in truth is none of anyone’s business except his own. John and Netflix have a wonderful relation which will continue to grow for years to come whether that be through his acting or through [Boyega’s production company] UpperRoom.”
Through his representatives, Rebel Ridge director Jeremy Saulnier (Hold the Dark, Green Room) declined to comment.