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7 Classic Black Films That Deserve The Reboot Treatment Like ‘Boomerang’

Your favorite early-90s watercooler flick is getting the television reboot treatment.

Lena Waithe and Halle Berry are executive producing a Boomerang reboot as a series for BET. The series will follow the son of Jacqueline as well as the daughter of Angela and Marcus Graham. No word yet on if Berry or any of the movie’s players will reprise their roles.

It’ll be interesting to see how they continue the film’s very specific storyline, especially in this era of heightened consciousness. The original film wouldn’t have made it out alive dropping in 2018 for its depiction of Black women alone. (The movie managed to make Tisha Campbell and Lela Rochon, both in their primes, look like trash). On the flip side, the film was ahead of its time in its depiction of a take-charge Black woman executive. It also killed it in the box office with damn near no white people at all in the early 1990s, when that really wasn’t a thing.  

The reboot got me thinking about all the other classic Black cinema that could use the sequel or reboot treatment. It just so happens that I’ve been on a recent trip of re-watching the classic Black cinema, including Boomerang, so these are all fresh in my mind.

1. Love Jones (1997)


Physical attractiveness will likely always play a significant role in the appeal of Hollywood love stories. Fortunately, it just so happens that both Larenz Tate and Nia Long still look good for a Love Jones sequel. (I’m not sure what virgin thigh Tate is drinking from to look the same now as he did in his early 20s, but we need to bottle that shit up and sell it). It’d be great to see how Darius and Nina’s “happily ever after” is going well after that selfish-ass 20s phase we all go through. Bonus points if we can somehow shoehorn Khalil Kain in there…haven’t seen homie on screen in a spell.

2. White Men Can’t Jump (1992)


I’d pay loads of money that folds to see Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson chop it up again on screen, but this wouldn’t be the sequel for them considering their legs are likely on creak-creak as quinquagenarians. But there are two film sub-subgenres in desperate need of a revisit: the street-ball flick and the ebony-ivory buddy flick. Toss in a plucky Rosie Perez-esque romantic opposite or two that will help drive home the original film’s most enduring message: Always listen to the woman.


3. How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)


The film is an adaptation of Terry McMillan’s semi-autobiographical novel about her own May-December relationship, and there’s a potentially juicy sequel on deck considering the real-life conclusion of McMillan’s marriage: She found out six months after marrying Jonathan Plummer – 23 years her junior – that he is gay. What ensued was a mega-drama involving restraining orders and attempts to deport Plummer. Someone needs to make that movie. Bonus: Angela Bassett can reprise her role as Stella since she basically looks the same as she did 20 years ago.


4. Coming to America (1988)


Coming to America ranks solidly in the top 3 of all-time films that matter to Black America, so any film with the name would be held to high scrutiny – if it sucks, it gets dragged to sugar-grits Hell and back. I propose a proper sequel that spends more time in the fictional country of Zamunda while also dabbling in America (we’ve seen this work to great effect this year). It’s been 30 years since the wedding of Akeem and Lisa…maybe they have a young scion who wants to find himself in America. Semmi can accompany him as the hating authority figure who gets comically ditched at every opportunity. Eddie Murphyand Shari Headley both still look good, and their participation is essential.


5. Set it Off (1996)


 The writers of the tragic heist flick did a pretty good job of closing the book by film’s end: Stony is the only one to make it out alive and presumably starts a new life on the lam in Mexico. But what if she caught the bug for illegal bag-obtaining and builds a whole-ass drug ring from south of the border? Jada Pinkett Smith did the damn thing as a villain in the Gotham show and Queen of the South is the most compelling thing on USA these days, so it could work. Bonus points if she somehow convinces Blair Underwood’s banker Keith to throw his straight life away to help set up her enterprise.


6. Do the Right Thing (1989)


 I’m on record as saying that Spike Lee’s Netflix adaptation of She’s Gotta Have It is borderline unwatchable to me. But Do the Right Thing as a television show would be perfect considering we act like we’ve barely learned a goddamn thing about race relations in America in the nearly 30 years since the film. Gentrification has made the Brooklyn of the original damn near unrecognizable, which might make setting a show about racial tension there even more interesting. It would need to include Giancarlo Esposito and John Turturro.


7. Harlem Nights (1989)


The original is absolutely inimitable – lightning in a bottle for a bygone era of black comedy. That most of the main players are no longer with us would diminish a direct sequel out of the gate, but a three-decades later story in which Murphy reprises his role as Quick, now a seasoned gangster running a mob in the civil rights movement-era south following the death of his partner Sugar Ray, would be hot. Hijinks would ensue as Katt Williams plays Quick’s right-hand hitter with the Napoleon complex who automatically kills any enemy taller than him.


Written by How Africa

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