The 1972 blaxploitation classic Super Fly is getting the remake treatment from writer Alex Tse. Tse, who’s most well-known for writing Zack Snyder’s 2009 Watchmen adaptation, is working on the remake with Sony, where he also wrote an early draft of the Crow remake starring Jason Momoa. There’s no word on who the studio is planning to cast – or who might be directing, for that matter – but they are putting together a shortlist of possibilities, with plans to go into production as soon as possible.
The original Super Fly focused on a cocaine dealer named Priest (Ron O’Neal) who wants to do one big score, and get out of the game forever. The film was directed by Gordon Parks Jr., whose father – Gordon Parks – directed the original Shaft movie in 1970. Parks Jr. went on to direct a number of other blaxploitation classics, including Three the Hard Way, a movie about a group of white supremacists who taint the water supply with a chemical that does nothing to white people but is lethal to any black person who takes a sip. Yes, this movie is real, and yes, it is as amazing as it sounds.
As far as Super Fly goes, there were two sequels – Super Fly TNT and The Return of Super Fly – in 1973 and 1990, respectively. Sony reportedly wants to do the same with this new movie, setting it up as the first in a franchise. I think it’d be cool to have a resurgence of blaxploitation films in the 21st century. We saw that even a spoof like Black Dynamite could resonate with audiences if done correctly. There’s also 2003’s Baadasssss!, which isn’t necessarily a straightforward blaxploitation movie, but still has a lot of elements from the genre.
But I think for Super Fly to work it’d have to be at least somewhat straight-faced, and I just don’t know if audiences would be willing to play along with a movie like Super Fly in 2017. Hopefully, they can, because the only thing missing from this landscape of big-budget franchises is a blaxploitation crime saga.
Images: Warner Bros.