Sony Pictures has closed a rights deal to develop a reboot of the blaxploitation classic Super Fly, tapping Watchmen scribe Alex Tse to write the script, the Tracking Board has confirmed.
Joel Silver is producing the update of Gordon Parks Jr.’s 1972 movie, which starred Ron O’Neal as a coke dealer named Priest. Curtis Mayfield composed the hit soundtrack, which actually outperformed the movie itself, though a sequel was still released the following year.
Sony is said to be thinking franchise with Super Fly, and will soon begin meeting with actors. I’m willing to bet that one name on their list will be O’Shea Jackson Jr., who played his father, Ice Cube, in Straight Outta Compton. I’d heard he was the favorite to star when Lionsgate was kicking the tires on this property earlier this summer, even before Jackson’s dynamite supporting turn in Ingrid Goes West. He’s got the swagger required to take on an iconic role like this one.
O’Neal was 35 years old when Super Fly was released, and Jackson is only 26, so he may be too young to play an eager-to-retire drug dealer, but it’s possible that Tse is changing the story up a bit. Either way, the Super Fly news arrives on the same day that Warner Bros. announced a June 2019 release date for its new Shaft movie, signaling that blaxploitation is back in a big way.
Sony executive Palak Patel chased down the rights and was instrumental in the studio’s effort to seal the deal.
In addition to Watchmen, Tse also wrote Spike Lee’s little-seen Sucker Free City, which starred a young Anthony Mackie, who might also be a good fit for Super Fly. Tse is represented by CAA and Lighthouse Management & Media, and his hiring was first reported by Variety.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief