Jussie Smollett has been absent from the spotlight since being accused of lying about being the victim of a hate crime. After being fired from Empire, he has been MIA but he is now creeping back onto the scene. Instead of jumping back in front of the camera, he is working behind the scenes for his first directorial debut.
According to Deadline, Smollett is working on directing his first feature film titled B-Boy Blues. The film is based on a 1994 book written by James Earl Hardy about the LGBTQ community. The film was written by Smollett and Hardy and stars Grammy-nominated singer Ledisi, Thomas Mackie, Brandee Evans, Timothy Richardson, Michael Jackson, Jr., Marquise Vilson, Jabari Redd, Brian Lucas, Heather B. and more.
Deadline reported that the film explores “the love and life of a middle class, politically conscious magazine editor Mitchell Crawford (Richardson) and a Harlem born and bred ruff-neck bike messenger Raheim (Mackie). Ledisi will portray Crawford’s mother Ann Walker, while Evans is Mitchell’s assistant, Michi.”
B-Boy Blues is filming in New York City.
In March 2019, Smollett was hit with a 16-count indictment by a grand jury for filing false police reports but the charges were abruptly dropped days later. This led to a special prosecutor conducting an investigation about the handling of Smollett’s case by Cook County State Attorney’s office. NPR reported that the special prosecutor found that there was “substantial abuses of discretion and operational failures but nothing to support any criminal charges” against Smollett.
Smollett isn’t in the clear yet though. The city of Chicago filed a lawsuit against Smollett demanding that he pay $130,000 to cover the costs of investigating his claims.
“The natural, ordinary and reasonable consequence of a police report like this one — a racist, homophobic physical assault in which masked attackers invoked the President of the United States’ official campaign slogan — is an intensive, sprawling investigation like the one that took place,” U.S Judge Virginia Kendall said according to the Chicago Tribune.