On January 13, coming to a theater near you, there’s going to be a House Party remake directed by Calmatic, starring Tosin Cole and Jacob Latimore as your new version of Kid ‘n Play, penned by Stephen Glover and Jamal Olori from the Atlanta writers’ room, and produced by LeBron James, Maverick Carter and the SpringHill Company.
Now, the last time LeBron James produced a remake of a classic movie, it was only good if you were watching it with your kids. On the merits of just being a good movie, Space Jam: A New Legacy was terrible. (Really, the original Space Jam wasn’t very good either, but we aren’t ready to have a discussion about all that.) This time around, King James has the tall order of remaking a rated-R film that’s a bonafide classic—and from the looks of the trailer, this might be a hit.
On their face, I have no issue with remakes. I’m actually heavily in favor of taking beloved existing intellectual properties and adapting them for a new audience, giving these stories a new spin based on them taking place in different eras where life, dialect, and technology are vastly different. (Bring on Issa’s Set It Off remake!) People will get up and arms, but as long as we aren’t bludgeoned to death with too many revamps, let’s just have fun with it. Yes, even movies as iconic as House Party.
The ’90s were home to a decade of timeless Black classics, but House Party, which was released on March 9, 1990, is perhaps, in retrospect, a grand warning shot of what was to come. Reginald Hudlin’s directorial debut was a bit radical at the time; now it’s a quaint snapshot of a vibrant hip-hop culture that was changing and expanding rapidly. The film marked the first time we saw young stars Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell together, and was one of the last times we saw Robin Harris—who was well on his way to becoming an icon—on a big screen.
House Party’s 2023 update will never be able to fill these enormous high-tops, but all we ask of it is for the lead character to have at least three-quarters of the chemistry Kid ‘n Play had and for it to be funny. If the trailer is a good representation of what's to come, the remake looks more than promising.