Would you give up hope if you were sentenced to 35 years behind bars, escaped, got caught, and returned to prison, all the while your child is growing up without you? Maybe, but Quawntay “Bosco” Adams did not. He persevered, served his time, and lives a free man these days to share his story. The real-life superhero is now portrayed in Bosco, an acclaimed new film streaming on Peacock. He’s played by Aubrey Joseph, who already has experience playing a superhero after his starring turn in Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger series.
We recently caught up with Joseph in a paired interview with Bosco writer-director Nicholas Manuel Pino to learn more about their new film that’s based on an incredible true story, a project that also features Hollywood veterans like Vivica A. Fox, Tyrese Gibson, and Thomas Jane.
Kubrick, Scorsese, and Aronofsky as Influences
- Release Date
- February 2, 2024
- Nicholas Manuel Pino
- 1hr 39min
- Nicholas Manuel Pino , Quawntay Adams
First came the remarkable true story, and then came Bosco’s acclaimed book, Chasin’ Freedum. “The film is about a very small period of his life with a little bit of color, bringing in Tyrese and Vivica,” said Pino about his new film. “But, it’s always a challenge to capture somebody who I’ve grown to love’s soul into something that is very short because I wanted to do the whole book. But we don’t have Scorsese budgets yet.”
On that note, Pino shared the filmmaker influences behind his new feature, which goes heavy on psychological drama as well as voiceover narrations that serve an artistic purpose. “Stanley Kubrick has a very psychological thing that goes on with a lot of his stuff, which I kind of wanted to infuse, and a little bit of Scorsese world-building in some of these voiceovers. It’s like, you can’t separate Scorsese from voiceover,” said Pino. “I took from a lot of Aronofsky stuff… Being imprisoned like that, in one cell this whole time, that’s gonna drive you crazy.”
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Of course, there’s the influence of real-life Bosco as well, who was very much involved in the production process. “He was there every single day. That made my job a lot easier,” Joseph told MovieWeb. “On the first day, I felt like I was not necessarily doing the job; I felt like I was doing something that I would have done for free. And it was really just to tell my brother’s story because I know he was sitting behind a monitor and watching it go down… So you want to do everything in your power to make it feel as real as possible but also do it justice.”
Regarding Bosco’s involvement, Pino added:
“Even during our development process, he was involved, even while he was still in prison. Aubrey and I were talking to him 15 minutes at a time when he was able to call us… It’s not a guy who’s been dead for 100 years like Napoleon, you know? It’s a guy who’s right here.”
Also along for the ride was veteran character actor Thomas Jane, playing the terrifying corrections officer in the film who keeps a close eye on inmate Bosco. “His performance is crazy, the kind of villain voice that he captures,” Joseph told us. “I remember, we came to set and we were blocking the scene or something like that. And I had on either a Nirvana or Tupac vintage shirt. And just in the middle of the rehearsal, before we started, he was like, ‘Tight shirt, man.’ I forgot we were human beings. He’s a good dude. It was great to work with him on set. And he just delivers a really, really good performance to the point where I wanted to talk to him on set as if we had real life beef.”
Chatting with Joseph and Pino in this paired setup felt like speaking to two lifelong best friends — which isn’t far from the truth. Bosco isn’t the first time they have worked together, and it sounds like it won’t be the last. “We have a couple of things in the works. I wrote something with Aubrey that he directed, that’s going to come out this year, a short,” said Pino. “We also have a TV show that we wrote together and are developing right now… We connected over music, too, since I was a musician first before I became a director.”
Speaking of music, fans of Joseph’s talents might know he’s also in the music scene, with his first album dropping back in 2020 and his next one coming soon, thanks to some help and guidance from Pino. “He was around during the process,” said Joseph. “We kind of support each other… I mean, it’s gonna be kind of hard to work with a different actor or a different director. It’s kind of an unspoken synergy that we have there. I can’t wait for people to hear it, and I’m lucky that Nick was able to be a part of it.”
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Marvel’s Future With Cloak?
Fans of Joseph’s also know he was dynamite in a rather short-lived Freeform series — as Cloak in Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger. We had to ask if he saw his heroic role as canonical in the MCU. Says Joseph:
“Yeah, of course, man. How it ended was super tricky because Marvel was kind of handing over the reins, if you will, to Marvel Studios. But that had nothing to do with how great of a show it was and how dedicated our fanbase was. They still bug me all the time about the show and ask me and Olivia, ‘Please just call Kevin Feige.’ And we’re like, ‘It doesn’t work like that.’ I feel like they’re some of the most unique characters in the Marvel Universe, and there has to be another way to continue telling our story.”
Joseph also mentioned how he stays in touch with his Cloak & Dagger co-star, Olivia Holt. “She’s great. I feel like we just talked a minute ago,” said Joseph. “That’s my girl… I learned a lot from her. So that’s always gonna be my girl.” One could argue Cloak and Bosco have some overlapping character qualities, making this latest Peacock film a slam dunk for the rising star, Joseph.
“I was coming off of Cloak and looking for that right next role. And it’s so funny that I just ended up playing a superhero again because that’s exactly what Bosco is. I mean, he is a hero in a sense and was so determined to be a father for his daughter, to break that generational curse of the fact that his father wasn’t in his life.”
And finally, as we’re in awards season, we had to ask Joseph and director Pino about their favorite shows and movies from the past year. “I think The Bear did a great job, Beef and Succession. Those are three of my favorite shows,” said Pino. “Poor Things was pretty good. And Oppenheimer, talk about a musical movie. There’s music from start to finish in that.”
Joseph piggy-backed off Pino’s appreciation for the Oscar front-runner. “Nolan did a fantastic job, of course, but that’s Christopher Nolan. It’s gonna happen every time,” he said. “I’m glad to see Cillian [Murphy] finally get nominated as a lead actor. I think it’s been long overdue. I hope he wins.”
In the meantime, Bosco is now streaming on Peacock.
Stream on Peacock