The disgraced “Empire” star Jussie Smollett is reportedly launching his comeback in Hollywood as he prepares to make his directorial debut.

Page Six reported that Smollett is making his directorial debut in New York City this week with “B-Boy Blues,” an adaptation of James Earl Hardy’s best-selling book from 1994. Smollett, 38, will also be producing the feature through his just-launched SuperMassive Movies.

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The film, which is set to begin production on October 17, chronicles the story of Mitchell Crawford, a 27-year-old journalist, and Raheim Rivers, a 21-year-old bike messenger, or B-boy, who meet at a Greenwich Village bar in 1993. Both the film and SuperMassive Movies, which aims to fund independent works from LGBTQ+, women and filmmakers of color, are being financed by Cleveland-based Radio Broadcast investor, Tom Wilson.

Smollett made headlines back in January of 2019, when he claimed to have been the victim of a hate crime. The actor alleged that he was jumped by two men who hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him while also shouting “this is MAGA country.” Police, however, concluded that he had staged the attack and hired two friends, brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo, to jump him in the hopes of securing a pay raise for himself on “Empire.”

Smollett was hit with many charges related to him allegedly lying to police, but they were inexplicably dropped later that year, much to the dismay of many Americans who wanted to see him held responsible for his actions. A special prosecutor was appointed to go over the case again, and Smollett was indicted for a second time in February of 2020. Smollett has long claimed that he was innocent, saying last month that the case against him is “bulls–t.”

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“There would be no reason for me to do something like this,” he said in an interview. “There would be no reason for me to do something foolish… and I do think that if you look at all of the things that were happening for me, and then for all of the opportunities and all of the money… whatever, that I have lost at this point, if in fact what they said was true, the smart thing to do would be to admit that. At least there would be a place to work back from. This is bulls—t. It’s bulls—t.”

Prior to this scandal, Smollett had a successful career in Hollywood, winning five National Association for the Advancement of Colored People awards, including for Best Supporting Actor on “Empire.” He had also directed two episodes of “Empire.”

This piece originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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