James is making his first 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.
Produced by Homefront Productions and producer Guy J Louthan, the film will commence shooting next year.