You may not know the name Riz Ahmed just yet, but a lot of film and television fans got to know it over the course of 2016.
This young actor had one of the most sudden explosions onto the scene in recent memory in HBO’s The Night Of before appearing in supporting roles in multiple mainstream films. He’s garnered a great deal of critical acclaim along the way, but we may still be on the cusp of his true emergence as a film star. Toward the end of last month, the first trailer for his upcoming film City Of Tiny Lights debuted, and there are a few major reasons to be excited about it.
Ahmed Is Red-Hot Right Now
Riz Ahmed is not a brand new name to everybody. He actually had some success a few years ago on the indie scene in England, and he debuted to international audiences with a supporting role in Nightcrawler opposite Jake Gyllenhaal. But 2016, as mentioned, was a major breakout year. He had small but significant roles in both Jason Bourne and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story after bursting onto the scene via The Night Of. And his year was capped off by a Golden Globe nomination for his work on HBO. He’s not an A-list superstar or a household name just yet, but Ahmed is about as red-hot as a young actor can get, and that alone makes City Of Tiny Lights intriguing.
Cush Jumbo Is On Board
What a name, right? Well, if you don’t know who Cush Jumbo is, she’s the up-and-coming British actress who countless fans fell in love with as Lucca Quinn in the later seasons of The Good Wife. Jumbo was such a hit toward the end of this acclaimed TV series that she’s now involved as one of the few carryover characters filming a spinoff (The Good Fight).
The Film Is By The Dredd Director
Pete Travis is directing this film, and is probably best known at this point for his work at the helm of 2012’s Dredd. That film actually didn’t do particularly well, but has developed a very enthusiastic cult following over the years. There are constant calls for a straight-to-streaming sequel, lead actor Karl Urban has expressed a desire to return, and even an online video game based on the Dredd character is still in circulation on the internet. The game is one of a number of slot reels based on popular films and comics and features the setting of the dark, dystopian Mega-City One that’s said to be as impressive as any backdrop comes in this genre. It’s that same gritty atmosphere from Dredd that ought to intrigue fans heading into City Of Tiny Lights. Travis has already proven that he can pull off a dark, crime-ridden cityscape better than most.
Danny Boyle Meets Noir?
This is just a small observation from the trailer, but the visual quality of this film looks to fall somewhere between the movies of Danny Boyle and the style of a modern noir project. This should prove to be an exciting prospect for fans of either. Boyle often infuses his films with a sort of vibrant strangeness that can become oddly hypnotic, and the idea of blending that sort of vibe with a classic noir atmosphere is fascinating.
When great cities star in movies, it tends to work out well. According to at least one early review for City Of Tiny Lights, this is a project offering an authentic depiction of London that is only heightened through the dark and bizarre atmosphere we’ve already noted. It’s hard not to have a little bit of fun just watching a city like London and this movie is one of the most interesting looks at it in sometime.