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‘Breaking’ Trailer Features John Boyega Starring as the Tragic Veteran Brian Easley

The film will explore the veteran’s heartbreaking true story.

A supposed bank robbery becomes a political statement in the first trailer of Breaking, featuring John Boyega as a former Marine willing to do anything to be heard. Previously known as 892, Breaking tells the true story of Lance Corporal Brian Easley, a veteran who threatened to blow a bank to call attention to the U.S. government’s neglect of the military.

The trailer takes us straight to the Wells Fargo Bank building in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, the place Easley chose as his target in his desperate move to denounce how the government abandons former Marines. Suffering from PTSD and visual field loss after serving in the Navy, Easley was still condemned to poverty when he returned to his own country. The breaking point was a check of $892 he was supposed to get from the Department of Veterans Affairs, but which he never got. So, to get the attention he wanted, Easley took a bank hostage, claiming he had explosives in his backpack.

Although Easley used a violent threat to get police officers and media to the bank, the veteran was not out for blood, negotiating the release of every hostage soon before being killed. The fact that no explosives were found in Easley's backpack also proves that the man never intended to hurt anybody. In the trailer, Boyega does a beautiful job in the role of a nuanced character, both willing to do whatever it takes to be heard and concerned about the safety of others. And while Easley didn’t get out of the situation alive, the trailer shows how the upcoming movie will do justice to the veteran’s grievances.

Easley's desperate breakout and subsequent death became the subject of an in-depth article that reporter Aaron Gell wrote for Task & Purpose. The article investigates Easley’s life in the military, showing how the man was a victim of a cruel system that ignored his mental health, refused to compensate him for the issues he got while serving the country, and finally killed him in a clear example of an excessive police force against Black people. The in-depth inspired Abi Damaris Corbin and Kwame Kwei-Armah to write Breaking’s script, with Corbin taking over directorial duties. Breaking also stars Michael Kenneth Williams, Nicole Beharie, Connie Britton, Olivia Washington, and Selenis Leyva.

Breaking is coming to theaters this August 26. Check out the film’s trailer below:

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