news John Boyega Says Michael K. Williams Was ‘Paid Peanuts’ to Star in ‘Breaking,’ Did It for the ‘Art’

John Boyega still can’t get over just how “incredible” it was to collaborate with the late Michael K. Williams in upcoming drama “Breaking.”

The film, directed by Abi Damaris Corbin, who also co-wrote the script with Kwame Kwei-Armah, tells the true story of a Marine Veteran who was denied support from Veterans Affairs and turned to taking an Atlanta bank hostage in 2017. Boyega plays veteran Brian Brown-Easley, with “The Wire” icon Williams portraying an officer tasked with talking Brown-Easley down.

“I actually requested him to be in this movie, and he came through,” Boyega told Entertainment Tonight about helping cast Williams. “[He] got paid peanuts just to be a part of the art, so we’ll forever love you, brother.”

Boyega added, “To see the trailer today brought back all those emotions and feelings and just being on set with him.”

“Breaking,” originally titled “892,” premiered at 2022 Sundance and won the Special Jury Award for Ensemble Cast at the festival. The film will be released August 26.

“‘Breaking’ is going to be an incredible movie,” Boyega promised. “Starring in this movie alongside Michael K. Williams and Nicole Beharie has been a blessing to me. And I’m getting ready to show you lot a little range, show you lot a little somethin’ somethin,’ you know what I mean?”

The film also marks one of Williams’ final onscreen appearances; the actor died in September 2021 of an accidental drug overdose.

“I’m really glad I got the chance to work with him, especially in his last days, and see his artistry,” Boyega previously explained to The Los Angeles Times. “[He was] very positive on set. A good, bubbly guy. And at the same time just effortless with his humility.”

In February 2022, four men were arrested in connection with Williams’ death. One of the four people was charged with selling the fentanyl-laced heroin that allegedly led to Williams’ death, according to The New York Times.

“This is a public health crisis, and it has to stop,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. “Deadly opioids like fentanyl and heroin don’t care about who you are or what you’ve accomplished. They just feed addiction and lead to tragedy.”