In 2015, according the the star of the series, Ashley Walters, rapper/actor Drake loved the acclaimed British drama “Top Boy” so much that he essentially wanted to “save” it from certain cancellation and bring it to the USA. In an hour-long interview with the YouTube talk series “Not for the Radio,” Walters said: “Drake thought [‘Top Boy’] was proper. This was via text. I was speaking to Future mainly, Drake’s manager. We were going back and forth. And we were like, ‘Put a deal on the table’,” Walters said.
After 2 successful seasons, there was talk of a third but the network (Channel 4 in the UK) decided against the idea, and effectively put “Top Boy” to bed for good in 2013, much to the disappointment of the series’ many fans.
Walters added: “Eventually they got in contact and asked, ‘What’s happening with series three?’ I told them Channel 4 had canceled it. They said, ‘That’s sad, but we’re going to do something about it’. Furthermore Drake was like, ‘You need to break America’. He wanted to help.”
“We were going into meetings.” Walters continued. “‘Top Boy’ is the sort of brand we knew would sell to Netflix, Amazon. The numbers speak for themselves. So we had that power and the production company still owned the rights. And Drake made an offer and they turned it down. I don’t know what is going on with it – but I heard they are talking about a ‘Top Boy Chicago.’”
And he left it there.
In hearing “Top Boy Chicago,” I was reminded of Lena Waithe’s Chicago-set coming-of-age drama series that another rapper is producing, Common, which is set up at Showtime. Not that there’s any connection, by the way. I just remembered it. If “Top Boy: Chicago” happens, comparisons to Waithe’s “The Chi” (as the series is called) may happen, given that it too is…
Skip ahead to this morning, to a Daily Mirror report (the UK paper) that includes word from Walters that Drake is to going to star in a reboot of “Top Boy” after buying the rights to the series. The report doesn’t state specifically whether it’ll be an American remake, but the wording in the Mirror suggests that it won’t, and instead Drake will have a starring role in a revival of the British series with Walters starring as well.
“We met up to start talking about the show and we are working out a role for him,” Walters told the newspaper. “He loves acting, of course he wanted a part. He’s going to be really hands on and is getting stuck into it.”
“He is such a down to earth, nice guy. He’s so famous you would expect him to be this crazy character but he’s actually quite boring, in a good way,” Walters said. “I had a meeting with him and I brought all of my kids along. My eldest was chatting away in his ear for ages and he was just cool.”
The report states that the third season that “Top Boy” never got will premiere on Netflix in 2018 with British rapper Skepta also set to star.
No other details are available at this time, specifically in terms of what story season 3 will tell.
For USA audiences, you should know that both season 1 and season 2 of “Top Boy,” which I agree is a series you all should check out, are both streaming on 3 of the major SVOD services: Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. So you’ve got options.
“Top Boy” is set on the fictional Summerhouse housing estate in Hackney, East London, aims to provide an insight into life in London estates, and how drugs affect everyone living there.
Source: Shadow & Act