Regina Hall and Marsai Martin plays adult and teenaged versions of the same character in the Little trailer. The body-swapping comedy is a subgenre that's been around for a long time now, with films like Freaky Friday and Big among the better known examples. In a twist, however, Little is a body-swap comedy that Martin - who plays the Johnson family's daughter Diane on ABC's sitcom Black-ish - came up with, after watching Tom Hanks' classic 1988 film. Martin is even an executive producer on the movie, in addition to its young headliner and co-developer.
Hall stars in Little as Jordan Sanders, a take-no-prisoners mogul who, after crossing the wrong person, wakes up one morning as the 13-year old version of herself (Martin). Insecure's Issa Rae costars as Jordan's put-upon assistant April, who pretends to be the teenaged Jordan's guardian until they can figure out how to reverse this whole de-aging process. Little was further produced by Hall and Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, with Tina Gordon (Peeples) directing from a script she cowrote with Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip).
Universal is kicking off the film's marketing this week with the Little trailer, which you can watch below. The movie's premise is perhaps most reminiscent of Zac Efron's 2009 comedy 17 Again, in which Matthew Perry plays a grown man who gets a chance to be his 17-year old self again (Efron). Much like that movie, Little's "reverse Big" approach derives its comedy from the idea that its younger star is a grownup on the inside, but otherwise seems like an ordinary teenager (albeit, one who behaves rather strangely) to anyone not in the know.
Based on its trailer, Little focuses heavily on the the odd couple dynamic between Rae's April and Martin as young Jordan. That approach makes it the rare mainstream comedy to explore relationships among black women (like Girls Trip before it), and might allow the film to put a fresh spin on its familiar body-swap premise. The trailer's jokes are pretty broad in tone, but Rae and Martin seem to have good chemistry and their characters' budding friendship may yet give the film some heart. No doubt, the trailer skimps on Little's more dramatic scenes anyway, in favor of gags involving Martin wearing pantsuits and making her handsome new school teacher (This is Us' Justin Hartley) feel uncomfortable.
Little hits theaters on Friday, April 12, which is exactly one week after DC's Big-inspired superhero adventure, Shazam!, hits the scene. Their connection to Penny Marshall's comedy classic aside, the two films are worlds apart and put decidedly different spins on the body-swap setup, so they shouldn't really impact one another at the box office. Little is also a far cry from that Friday's comic book movie Hellboy and may yet succeed as counter-programming to that month's big superhero releases in general. That includes a little film called Avengers: Endgame, which drops two weeks later.
Source: Universal Pictures