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Netflix Announces New Projects with John Boyega and Jay Chou


Netflix today announced it has new projects coming from the production company of Star Wars actor John Boyega, as well as an unscripted series from Mandarin pop music sensation Jay Chou.

UpperRoom Productions, an independent production company founded by British-Nigerian actor John Boyega, has signed a deal with Netflix to develop non-English language films. UpperRoom will develop film projects based on stories, cast, characters, crew, literary properties, mythology, screenplays and/or other elements in or around African countries, with a focus on West and East Africa.

The deal strengthens Netflix’s commitment to invest in African content creators and to tell stories that are made in Africa and watched by the world. “Africa has a rich history in storytelling and for Netflix, this partnership with John and UpperRoom presents an opportunity to further our investment in the continent while bringing unique African stories to our members both in Africa and around the world,” said David Kosse, Vice President of International Film at Netflix.

UpperRoom, the independent TV and film production company founded by John Boyega in 2016, was set up to facilitate his debut producing role on the film Pacific Rim: Uprising, which he co-produced and starred in with Legendary Entertainment and was distributed via Universal Pictures. Since then, the team at UpperRoom has been developing a slate of projects, across film and TV, including some unscripted content with the day-to-day operations overseen by Yara Shaikh, VP of Productions.

“I am thrilled to partner with Netflix to develop a slate of non-English language feature films focused on African stories and my team and I are excited to develop original material. We are proud to grow this arm of our business with a company that shares our vision,” said John Boyega.

Netflix recently signaled its intent to increase its investment in Africa’s creative community with the production of its first original scripted series from Nigeria, the yet-to-be-titled Akin Omotoso Project, as well as other African Originals — Blood & Water and Mama K’s Team 4 — that will premiere later this year and join Netflix’s first Africa Original, Queen Sono that debuted on February 28.

The streaming service today also announced the global exclusive release of J-Style Trip in collaboration with Jay Chou (Now You See Me 2, The Green Hornet) on March 21.

The J-Style Trip series is completely unscripted, and strung together by some of Jay’s most beloved and timeless hits, giving viewers an opportunity to get a rare glimpse into Jay’s personal life and candid moments with friends and fans around the world – a show filled with genuine camaraderie, humor and of course, magic.

In the show, Jay travels to eight destinations across three continents including The Gold Coast, Innsbruck, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo, Shenzhen, Taipei, and Vienna. On top of the stunning views of the cities and Jay’s music, J-Style Trip also features an all-star list of special guests who join Jay as co-hosts in each episode.

The 12-episode magic travelogue will premiere on March 21 with one weekly new episode going live on Saturdays, exclusively on Netflix.

The cast also includes Funky Tu, Norman Chen, and Will Tsai. The guest stars are Jam Hsiao, JJ Lin, Blackie Chen, Nicholas Tse, Yohji Yamamoto, Cyril Takayama, Ryota Katayose, Darren Chou from the Drifters, and Chien-chang Sung from Nan Quan Mama.

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Mirko Parlevliet
Mirko Parlevliet has been reporting on the entertainment industry since 1998 and founded to cover movie, TV, video game, music, and theme park news.


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