With their fast cars, furs and fedoras, the heroes of 1970s “blaxploitation” are making a comeback on the big screen as Hollywood indulges its endless addiction to cinematic nostalgia.
Seen variously as a rich celebration of Black America or a regressive return to negative stereotyping, the movement is an attempt by filmmakers to relive the thrill of “The Mack,” “Foxy Brown” and other classics.
Next year, moviegoers can expect yet another reboot of “Shaft” starring Samuel L. Jackson, while Warner Bros. plans to remake 1973’s “Cleopatra Jones” and a new “Foxy Brown” is headed to internet streamer Hulu.
Hitting US theaters on Wednesday next week is “Superfly,” Sony’s remake of the 1972 classic “Super Fly,” a touchstone in black cultural history and perhaps the definitive blaxploitation film.
“Some of my favorite movies are remakes,” music video veteran turned filmmaker Director X told a news conference in Los Angeles at the weekend.
“‘Scarface’ is a remake, ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ is a remake, so I wanted the possibility to make a great remake of a classic film.”
Released on August 4, 1972, “Super Fly” told the story of Harlem drug pusher Youngblood Priest (Ron O’Neal) trying to score one last big deal before retiring from a life of crime.