James McAvoy To Make Directorial Debut With Scottish Music Biopic

James McAvoy

by Jordan King |
Published on

“Fake it till you make it,” or so the saying goes. Well, back in the late ‘90s, that’s exactly what Scottish pals Gavin Bain and Billy Boyd (no, not that Billy Boyd) did, reinventing themselves as Californian rappers Silibil N' Brains before rocking up in London and taking the music industry by storm. It sounds like something out of a movie right? Well, X-Men and Split star James McAvoy certainly thinks so. Per Deadline’s reporting, the Scottish actor is set to make his directorial debut with a biopic about the fearless fraudsters, who had the world fooled – until they didn’t.

Talking to Deadline about the project, McAvoy expressed his excitement for the film, and for getting a chance to represent his homeland on screen. “What these two young men from Dundee attempted beggars belief and I can’t wait to bring this absolutely incredible, and also very Scottish/Californian story to the cinema,” McAvoy said. “Using Scottish talent behind and in front of the camera is something I’m passionate about and I’m over the moon to be making my directorial debut in my homeland. The film will first and foremost be a celebration of the Scottish spirit, but the ‘Silibil N’ Brains’ duo’s audacious fakery can’t help but appeal to audiences worldwide.”

Bain and Boyd’s story has been told on page and screen before, in the form of Bain’s brilliantly titled memoir California Schemin’ and Jeanie Finlay’s 2013 doc The Great Hip-Hop Hoax, but this will be the first time it’s been given the dramatised treatment. McAvoy’s film, currently untitled, is set to show how the duo set about pulling off their great con, shaking off their Scottish accents to reimagine themselves as key players in the early 00s Cali music scene, childhood pals of Eminem’s no less. And considering where that lie eventually led – to opening slots for Em’s hip-hop outfit D12 and appearances on MTV – there’s plenty of material here for McAvoy to really run with.

The film, produced by Homefront Productions, is due to start shooting in Scotland next year, with Kathleen Crawford expected to finish casting for the project later this year. Until then, it sounds like we have plenty of time to work on some Scottish rap song titles...

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