Fanboys director Kyle Newman‘s upcoming eSports drama has experienced a late-stage roster change.
Elliot Page (Juno, The Umbrella Academy) was previously cast to play a professor and mentor figure in the movie, but Page has since stepped away from the project and the producers have hired Ruby Rose (John Wick: Chapter 2, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage) to play that role instead. Read more about the project below.
The Hollywood Reporter doesn’t provide any reason for Page’s departure – which is slightly odd, because when people walk away from a project, they’ll at least go to the trouble to cite a “scheduling conflict” or the vague catch-all “creative differences.” Nonetheless, Ruby Rose has been hired instead.
The movie follows a young woman named Valerie who “quits her college esports team, fed up with gaslighting from her male counterparts, and quickly realizes that her decision comes at the cost of her scholarship. But, she discovers a loophole to save her collegiate future: if she can find a coach and assemble a whole new varsity-caliber team capable of reaching the State Finals. Valerie turns to her professor, Parker Nesby, and together with Valerie’s best friend and fellow gamer Sloane, they form and train a rag-tag women’s team committed to taking down the boys that tried to shut them out of gaming in the first place.”
Since the film involves an all-female team, we’re wondering if Page left the project because he transitioned recently and maybe acknowledges that he’s no longer the best fit for the role – but that’s just speculation on our part.
Paris Berelc (Hubie Halloween, Mighty Med, Alexa & Katie) is playing Valerie, and Rose will now play the role of the professor. Actress and writer Julia Yorks wrote the screenplay, and Newman, who previously directed the 2009 geek-centric feature Fanboys and the 2015 teenage assassin movie Barely Lethal, is directing.
1Up will be the first movie released as the result of a joint partnership between Lionsgate and BuzzFeed, which has plans to “develop, produce and distribute socially relevant feature films with the aim of targeting millennial and Gen Z audiences.”
eSports have become increasingly popular in recent years, so much so that major competitions are televised on cable channels and huge cash prizes are doled out to the winners. Combine that with their popularity online, and I’m frankly surprised it’s taken this long for Hollywood to make a mainstream movie about eSports – especially given the insanity of GamerGate a few years ago.
1Up is now filming in Toronto. Taylor Zakhar Perez (The Kissing Booth 2), Hari Nef (Assassination Nation), and Nicholas Coombe (Dora and The Lost City of Gold) round out the supporting cast.
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