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Naked Singularity - What We Know So Far

After John Boyega began to speak out openly about the mistreatment he suffered as a Black man at the hands of Disney and the Hollywood movie industry, there was some trepidation among his fans that such a good deed might not go unpunished — a fear that was compounded, even for Boyega himself, when he made a no-holds-barred speech at an anti-racist protest in London in June 2020, which included the confession, "I don't know if I'm going to have a career after this, but f— that" (via The Guardian).

Thankfully, despite the reticence Boyega's frankness sparked among certain "individuals in powerful places" (via THR), he has been able to hang on tight. "Red, White and Blue," his hugely acclaimed episode of Steve McQueen's "Small Axe" anthology, proved that he's not slowing down as an actor, and his casting in multiple high-profile upcoming projects — including "They Cloned Tyrone," "Borderland," and the long-awaited sequel to "Attack the Block" — shows that he's still loved and respected enough in the industry to weather the fury of the suits who couldn't handle the truth.

The latest film in this "new era" of Boyega's career is "Naked Singularity," an ambitious cross between comedy, legal drama, heist thriller, and political commentary that is making its way to theaters and VOD platforms soon. Keep reading to learn more about "Naked Singularity."

When will Naked Singularity be released?

Directed by first-timer Chase Palmer (who previously co-wrote the screenplay for 2017's "It,") "Naked Singularity" was the opening film at the 2021 San Francisco Film Festival (via Variety), where it screened still without a distributor. It was then picked up by Screen Media Films in June (via Media Play News), at which point a release date was announced.

With the theatrical experience slowly becoming a part of Americans' everyday lives again, Screen Media has opted to give "Naked Singularity" a proper theatrical bow before releasing it online. The film will hit U.S. theaters on August 6, 2021, in a limited release, and then VOD a week later on August 13.

This will also be the release weekend of such highly-anticipated titles as "The Suicide Squad" and "Annette," so it makes sense that the distributor isn't holding off too long on making the movie available at viewers' homes, where it may stand a better chance of standing out from the competition.

Who is in the cast of Naked Singularity?

John Boyega is the protagonist of "Naked Singularity," and the Variety primer on the San Francisco Film Festival described his role as one that "cements his leading-man status." He plays Casi, "a young idealistic public defender in New York who is beating his head against the wall of the system," as detailed by Chase Palmer to Entertainment Weekly.

Boyega isn't the only big name in the cast, though. He is joined by Olivia Cooke as Lea, "a client who is playing all sides of her deal with the cops," and Bill Skarsgård as Dane, "Casi's best friend and colleague, who is also a public defender, [and] the opposite of idealistic."

As "Naked Singularity" premiered a while ago, we already know the names of all the actors in the cast. In addition to Boyega, Cooke, and Skarsgård, these include Tim Blake Nelson, who is making a welcome return to cinema after wowing us on "Watchmen," as well as Ed Skrein ("Deadpool"), Linda Lavin ("Alice"), and many others.

What is Naked Singularity about?

"Naked Singularity" is an adaptation of the 2008 novel "A Naked Singularity," which was written by real-life public defender Sergio De La Pava and earned raves for its evocation of the existential chaos of life in the throes of the U.S. justice system. Speaking to EW, Chase Palmer explained he was drawn to the novel's "mash-up of genres," in which legal and heist thriller tropes are combined with "metaphysical elements" — the title refers to the theoretical concept of seeing the inside of a black hole with one's own eyes.

Though the plot of the movie is as complex and ever-shifting as the novel's, it broadly centers on Casi's efforts to beat the justice system from the inside out and give a fairer shake to those who are ground down by it. Those efforts bring him into contact with the elaborate heroin dealing plot in which Lea, a former client, has found herself embroiled. Spurred on by fellow defender and best friend Dane, who sees Casi's fight with cynical eyes and the sum involved in the deal as an opportunity, as well as by the increasing personal and professional complications that result from standing up to the system, Casi embarks on a high-risk heist plan.

A trailer has been released, and it promises a movie with all the intensity, firmness of purpose, and energy of De La Pava's novel. Palmer described the process of adapting the novel as an effort to "distill it and capture the energy of it that [and] make a fun movie with also something to say about the justice system." If you're a fan of heist thrillers or any of the stars involved, this isn't one to miss.