#BritishBlacktors Cast as Greeks in BBC & Netflix’s ‘Troy: Fall of a City’ Raises Discussion on Historical Colourblind Casting

Produced by Wild Mercury in association with Kudos, Troy: Fall Of A City is a co-production between the BBC and Netflix.

Brought to life by David Farr (#TheNightManager) this series is an eight-part retelling of the fall of Troy. The cast includes British Blacktors David Gyasi (Containment, Interstellar) as Achilles, along with Alfred Enoch (How to Get Away With Murder, Harry Potter franchise) as Trojan general Aeneas, Alex Lanipekun (Homeland, 24: Live Another Day) as Pandarus and Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Dynasty, Roots) as Zeus.

Told from the perspective of the Trojan royal family at the heart of the siege, Troy: Fall Of A City has been described as a rich story of love, intrigue, betrayal, and belonging. Combining thrilling adventure with heart-breaking intimacy, it conveys the big themes of human existence and identity; of people battling to retain their sense of humanity and compassion amid the devastation and destruction of war.

Which is all great, but what would a new blockbuster series be without controversy!? According to an article in the Hollywood Greek Reporter, Greek people aren’t happy about black men, specifically Gyasi and Kae-Kazim being cast in roles of people who are historically documented as being white Greeks… [read here] …

(l-r) Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Alfred Enoch, Alex Lanipekun

Jury’s out on this one, because although I’d be rightly angry if a white actor was cast to play a historical black figure, the problem with exclusion, industry racism and western global reluctance to share the wealth and decision making in the arts and entertainment industry, colourblind casting has to exist. Black and non-white actors have to do a different dance to get noticed and paid. I for one can’t wait to see these #BritishBlacktors kicking arse with swords,  wearing sandals and structured leather and metal muscle-hugging attire.

The series is produced by Wild Mercury in association with Kudos for BBC One and Netflix, the series will be Executive Produced by Derek Wax (Capital, Humans) and David Farr for Wild Mercury, and Christopher Aird (Clique, Call The Midwife) for the BBC. It is written by David Farr, Nancy Harris (Our New Girl, Good Karma Hospital), Mika Watkins (Lucky Man, Dixi), and Joe Barton (Humans, Our World War), and will be directed by Owen Harris (Kill Your Friends, Black Mirror), Mark Brozel (Humans, Dickensian) and John Strickland (Line of Duty, The Musketeers). It is produced by Barney Reisz (Black Mirror, Elizabeth I).

Troy: Fall Of A City filmed on location in Cape Town and will premiere in the UK on BBC One and globally outside of the UK on Netflix.


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