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Like many things, cinema is cyclical, with trends and genres falling out of favor only to become relevant again years later. As we are currently in an age of nostalgia-mining with reboots, remakes and long-awaited sequels, it only makes sense that the Blaxploitation genre would eventually be tapped for a comeback. One of the pillars of Blaxploitation is Gordon Parks Jr.'s 1972 film Super Fly. Now Youngblood Priest will be returning to the big screen in a remake of the genre-defining film. Check out the action and the music of Superfly below.
Part of exploitation films is focusing on lurid content, and Superfly looks to have that in spades. The trailer is a stylish celebration of excess and wealth. This film looks to check a lot of boxes in the action category as well, with car chases, gun battles and even some hand-to-hand combat. The trailer doesn't provide much about the plot except for the fact that the setting has shifted from Harlem to Atlanta. The 1972 film followed Youngblood Priest, a cocaine dealer with a luxurious lifestyle who wanted to leave the life of crime, but needed to finance his future standard of living in order to do so. He therefore devised a plan for one big sale in order to score enough money to retire on.
The original film received a great deal of criticism for its drug use and glamorization of the drug trade and crime, but it also showed the dangers of such a lifestyle and why people might turn to it in the first place. Judging by the opening of the trailer, this remake will also be touching on some of the complex societal issues behind the drug trade, while also being an entertaining and flashy action film. Also, I don't know what the deal is with the white guns, but they certainly look cool.
Superfly is directed by Director X, who is primarily known as a music video director and has worked with artists such as Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna. Judging by the trailer, he will be bringing a lot of that shooting style to this film, as this trailer in many ways looks like a music video. Whether that will work for character and story remains to be seen, but the focus on music isn't surprising. The original film, which starred Ron O'Neal, is still famous today, primarily for its soundtrack. The original soundtrack, which actually outgrossed the film itself, was written and produced by soul musician Curtis Mayfield. For the new film, artist Future will be providing the soundtrack.
Writer Alex Tse, who had a hand in the script for Zack Snyder's Watchmen, wrote Superfly's screenplay, which boasts a solid cast featuring Trevor Jackson as Youngblood Priest alongside Jason Mitchell, Jennifer Morrison and Michael Kenneth Williams. With this film joining Proud Mary earlier this year and the return of Shaft next year, we may be seeing a new trend in a modern type of Blaxploitation film.