Superfly Is Being Remade & Future Will Curate The New Soundtrack
1972’s Superfly is an important film for many. Gordon Parks, Jr.’s followed in his famed father’s footsteps after 1971’s Shaft. Whereas “John Shaft” was a private investigator, Superfly focused on the other side of the game. Ron O’Neal’s portrayal of “Youngblood Priest,” a cocaine dealer trying to exit the illegal trade and walk a straight path, is iconic to film and Hip-Hop culture.
Perhaps equal to the movie is its music. Curtis Mayfield’s third album after leaving The Impressions would be the soundtrack, deeply inspired by the plot. The title track, along with “Pusherman” and “Freddie’s Dead” became massive hits for the singer and guitarist. While the lyrics fit Parks’ film, they also applied to a growing drug epidemic, especially with cocaine and heroin. Additionally, the protagonist’s customized Cadillac, his sexual prowess, and his fashion enhanced the portrayal of cool, albeit outside the law.
It has now been announced that Superfly will get a new life. Like 1970s films Shaft and Foxy Brown, the 1972 title is being re-made, according to Deadline. Director X, who is largely known for music videos belonging to JAY-Z, Drake, and DMX will direct the Sony-housed feature. Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton) will play “Eddie,” while the title character goes to Trevor Jackson of SyFy’s Eureka.
Rapper/singer Future is a producer of the Superfly reboot. Per Deadline, the Dungeon Family offshoot, Epic Records superstar, and “Move That Dope” creator will curate the soundtrack.
“When I went back and watched the original, I was struck by how relevant the themes are,” Director X said in a statement to Deadline. “The pursuit of the American Dream is eternal – everyone’s always on the hustle, because you’ve got to be… and Superfly is about pulling off the ultimate hustle to get out of the game. Our goal is to make it modern – to make a movie where the style, the art direction, the camera movements are all part of what makes the movie Superfly…I want to honor it in a way that shows a new generation how Black culture continues to be a catalyst for new trends in every area, from fashion to music. I’m also excited to be working with Future, both on the music and as a producer of the film – the original soundtrack is legendary, and that’s an inspiration for the artists that Future is working with to bring a singular modern musical vision to the film.”
In an Instagram post featuring cast, crew, and Future, X referred to his upcoming film as “a remix”:
Superfly did have two sequels: 1973’s Superfly: T.N.T., which Ron O’Neal starred in, directed and co-wrote. In 1990, Return Of Superfly released without O’Neal, directed by original co-financier (with Parks, Sr.) Sig Shore. It starred a burgeoning Samuel L. Jackson as “Nate Cabot.”
Ron O’Neal, Gordon Parks, Jr., Sig Sigler, and Gordon Parks, Sr. have all passed away. Sigler’s son has worked with Sony to complete the project that reportedly began negotiations more than a dozen years ago. It will be produced by Joel Silver.
In Hip-Hop, references to Superfly and its soundtrack are very prominent. Dogg Pound affiliate Priest “Soopafly” Brooks based his name on O’Neal’s character. The Beastie Boys, Ice-T, Clipse, UGK, Erykah Badu all sampled music from the soundtrack, while the dialogue is also often re-purposed.