Inspired by the novel “Ghetto Cowboy” by G. Neri and the real-life Fletcher Street cowboys, the film follows a troubled teen (Caleb McLaughlin) who is caught between a life of crime and his estranged father’s (Idris Elba) vibrant urban-cowboy subculture in North Philadelphia. Jharrel Jerome, Byron Bowers, Lorraine Toussaint, Clifford “Method Man” Smith and members of the Fletcher Street Stables also co-star in the film.
The film first premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. In an interview during the festival, Elba told Variety that the history around Black cowboys has been misconstrued for a long time.
“It feels really apt to be able to tell a part history that’s been definitely buried, and in the case of ‘Concrete Cowboy,’ that history is right now,” Elba said. “Those stables — they face being taken away forever and, part of what Ricky said to me was that, ‘I’m hoping that we made this movie and they keep the stables, based on the fact that people fall in love with the story and history and heritage of the stables.’”
On working with Elba in the movie, McLaughlin said, “It definitely was a dream come true being introduced to the project [and] finding out that Idris was playing my father. Who wouldn’t want Idris to play your father in a movie?”
“Concrete Cowboy” is directed by first-time feature filmmaker Ricky Staub, who co-wrote the script with Dan Walser. Producers on the film include Elba, Tucker Tooley, Lee Daniels, Dan Walser, Jeff Waxman and Jennifer Madeloff.
Watch the official trailer below.