KJ Apa to Replace Lead Actor in 'Hate U Give' Reshoots

The re-casting echoes decisions made by producers of crime-thriller All the Money in the World, who chose to scrub Kevin Spacey's scenes from the film and replace him with Christopher Plummer after the House of Cards star was accused of multiple sexual misconduct allegations late past year.

The Fox 2000 film announced in February that it would be removing actor Kian Lawley from the film after videos surfaced in which the YouTube "star" uttered several racial slurs. Unlike the Getty kidnap drama, this film hasn't yet been dated for release, but the film had pretty much wrapped.

The movie stars Amandla Stenberg as Starr, an African-American teenager who witnesses a police officer shoot and kill her unarmed friend.

Following the 22-year-old streaming star's exit from the film, caused by a series of videos which showed him using racist slurs, the rising star of the CW/Netflix drama has been brought in to do reshoots. Apa just arrived on set in Atlanta April 3, with filming set to resume the next day. Apa, who is white, will play Stenberg's boyfriend, who never thought about his girlfriend's race prior to the tragic incident. According to Deadline, The Hate U Give was essentially wrapped when Lawley was sacked, which means that Apa had to quickly darken his Riverdale-red hair and head into re-shoots, which will take a little over a week to wrap.

Lawley apologized at the time, saying, "I respect Fox's decision to recast this role for 'The Hate U Give' as it is an important story, and it would not be appropriate for me to be involved considering the actions of my past".

The film is being directed by George Tillman Jr. and also stars Russell Hornsby, Issa Rae, Common, Regina Hall, and Algee Smith.

Apa is best known for portraying Archie on Riverdale which was recently renewed for a third season.

  • Joey Payne