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If you haven't seen this summer's genre hit, Attack the Block, you are doing yourself a disservice. Joe Cornish, a frequent writing partner of the great Edgar Wright, made quite a splash with his directorial debut about some inner city English kids fighting off an alien invasion. It was probably the most fun I've had at the cinema all summer. However, Cornish wasn't the only star to emerge from the film with its lead actor, John Boyega, already being called 'Little Denzel.' Well, Boyega has just landed his first big part post ATB and it's the lead in the HBO-Spike Lee-Mike Tyson boxing pilot Da Brick.

THR is reporting that Boyega will play the series' protagonist Donnie, a part loosely based on the youth of former heavyweight champion of the world and current tattoo face Mike Tyson. As we reported back in June, all the pieces were in place (HBO, Doug Ellin, Mike Tyson and Spike Lee in the director's chair for the pilot) except they still need an actor to step into the ring. Boyega couldn't be a better choice really. The kid's a definite star on the rise so I wonder why he's going the television route instead of a making major feature, for which I'm sure offers have been made. HBO does attract big names but usually those who are already established, not right on the verge. I guess the flexibility of a cable TV schedule will still allow him to explore cinematic avenues and I hope he lands something big soon.

The pilot was written by John Ridley and is said to explore the world of 'post-racial' America though the eyes of a young African-American boxer recently released from 'juvie' and living in Newark, NJ (which apparently goes by the nickname 'Brick City'). Joining Boyega in Da Brick are Milauna Jemai who will play Donnie's mother Lynette, Julito McCullum as Kevin, Donnie's best friend who's holding him back and Kamahl Naiqui Palmer as Malik. I was already looking forward to this one but with the addition of Boyega, it's only more exciting.

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