“Riverdale” Star K.J. Apa to Replace YouTube Phenom Kian Lawley in Fox 2000 Drama “The Hate U Give”


K.J. Apa Kian Lawley The Hate U GiveGetty Images

Riverdale star has been tapped to replace YouTube phenom Kian Lawley in Fox 2000’s drama , the Tracking Board has confirmed.

George Tillman Jr. is directing the adaptation of the Angie Thomas novel, which stars Amandla Stenberg as a teen who witnesses a police officer kill her best friend and undergoes a political awakening. Apa, who is white, will play Stenberg’s boyfriend, who never thought about his girlfriend’s race prior to the tragic incident.

Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby and Common co-star alongside Issa Rae and Algee Smith. Bob Teitel and Marty Bown are producing the film, which is gearing up for reshoots in Atlanta. Those reshoots were deemed necessary after video surfaced of Lawley making racist remarks, and it’s sure hard to sell a topical movie like this one with that kind of cloud hanging over the film. Not only was Lawley dropped from the movie, but his agency cut him loose, too — though the actor did apologize and claims to have learned from his mistake.

Apa won’t be sporting his trademark red hair that helped him land the part of Archie on Riverdale, but don’t worry… he’ll change it back for the show’s third season. Once Apa wraps The Hate U Give, he’ll start filming the indie drama The Last Summer, about a group of high school friends who enjoy one last hurrah before heading off to college.

Apa is represented by , and . Deadline broke the news.

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