Art and culture

James McAvoy to direct ‘California Schemin’

(Left to right) James McAvoy and director James Watkins on the set of ‘Speak No Evil’. Photo: Universal Pictures.


  • James McAvoy will direct ‘California Schemin’.
  • He is making his directorial debut with the story of the conman.
  • Samuel Bottomley and newcomer Séamus McLean Ross will star.

Having long proven himself to be an accomplished actor (and occasional producer), James McAvoy is taking the leap behind the camera to direct his first film.

It’s tackling the crazy true story of two young Scots who fooled the international music scene by posing as established Californian rappers.

AND Deadline reports who has now gotten the two leads he needs for the film.

What is the history of ‘California ‘Schemin’?

James McAvoy in 'Speak No Evil'.

James McAvoy in ‘Speak No Evil’. Photo: Universal Pictures.

In the late ’90s, Gavin Bain and Billy Boyd (no, not the ‘Lord of the Rings’ actor) found their musical ambitions constantly ridiculed for having ‘wrong’ accents, so they took a chance and reinvented themselves as Californian rappers. .

The duo re-recorded their own songs with fake accents and appeared in London claiming to be Silibil N’ Brains, an established act in the Cali scene and childhood friends of Eminem. They quickly landed a record deal, a hefty sum of money up front, and an appearance on MTV… until it all fell apart.

The story of Bain and Boyd has been told on page and screen before, in the form of Bain’s memoir ‘California Schemin’ (which has since been reprinted as ‘Straight Outta Scotland’) and Jeanie Finlay’s 2013 documentary ‘The Great Hip-Hop Hoax’. but this will be the first time it has been given a dramatized treatment, with a script by Archie Thomson.

Who stars in ‘California Schemin’?

Samuel Bottomley, who recently appeared in ‘How to Have Sex’ and also appeared in films such as ‘Ghost Stories’ will play Boyd, with newcomer Séamus McLean Ross (working on the ‘Outlander’ prequel series ‘Blood of My Blood’ ‘). ‘) like Bain.

McAvoy, as is often the case with well-known actors who direct films, takes a supporting role to drum up interest from potential distributors.

‘California Schemin”: the filmmakers’ conversation

James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb in 'Split' (2016).

James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb in ‘Split’ (2016).

Here’s McAvoy in the movie:

“What these two young men from Dundee attempted is incredible and I can’t wait to bring this absolutely incredible and also very Scottish/Californian story to film. Using Scottish talent behind and in front of the camera is something I am passionate about and I am delighted to be able to make my directorial debut in my homeland. The film will be first and foremost a celebration of the Scottish spirit, but the duo’s ‘Silibil N’ Brains’ audacious counterfeit can’t help but appeal to audiences around the world. Archie Thomson’s rich adaptation of this remarkable story captivated me and will appeal to audiences around the world, and Samuel Bottomley and Séamus McClean Ross are a very special pair of young actors who possess all these attributes and more. “I feel privileged to tell this story with them in my first feature film.”

Producer Stephen Kelliher adds:

“We can’t wait to bring the amazing story of Silibil N’ Brains to the big screen. Its astonishing story of ambition and determination provides brilliant entertainment that is at once funny, moving and ultimately moving. We have faith that James and his wonderful cast will create a truly special film that will leave audiences open-mouthed as they witness one of the biggest scams in music history.”

When will ‘California Schemin’ hit theaters?

The rights to the film will be offered at the Cannes Film Market this month, so we’ll have to wait and see who acquires them (and how the film will be made) before knowing when it might hit screens.

James McAvoy in 'Speak No Evil'.

(Left) James McAvoy in ‘Speak No Evil’. Photo: Universal Pictures.

Other James McAvoy films:

Buy James McAvoy Movies on Amazon

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  • Source of information and images “moviefone

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