Superfly Trailer Gives the Blaxploitation Classic a Modern Makeover

The blaxploitation classic gets a modern makeover in the first trailer for Superfly from Sony Pictures. Watchmen scribe Alex Tse scripted the remake, with music video auteur Director X in the director's chair. Trevor Jackson takes on the role of Youngblood Priest, with Jason Mitchell, Michael Kenneth Williams, Lex Scott Davis and Jennifer Morrison co-starring.

Ron O'Neal originated the role of Priest, the dude with a plan to stick it to the man, in 1972's Super Fly. Featuring an acclaimed soundtrack by Curtis Mayfield, the film went on to become a classic of the blaxploitation genre. For 2018's Superfly, Sony enlists superstar rapper Future to craft a new era-appropriate soundtrack. The updated film moves the action from the streets of New York to the city Atlanta.

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Sony has now released the first teaser trailer for this summer's Superfly. The film's director and stars introduce the clip, giving a brief explanation of why the setting has been shifted to Atlanta. We then get the first footage from the remake. The clip also features new music from Future, who co-produced Superfly. See the clip above.

Straight away, we know the remake will have a very different vibe than the original. Gordon Parks' 1972 Super Fly exuded a particularly seedy, decaying New York flavor (a flavor faithfully recreated by David Simon's HBO series The Deuce). But the new Superfly is all about Atlanta and its hip-hop scene and particular style. The city of Atlanta is having quite a cultural moment right now, with all the music coming out of the area, plus Donald Glover's acclaimed FX series Atlanta.

The teaser mostly is about atmosphere, juxtaposing images of poverty and affluence. This is a story about a man rising up from the bottom to create his own empire. But as we see, that empire is very much in peril. "Power never stopped a bullet," Priest says in the voiceover. "No car can outrun fate." Trevor Jackson cuts a striking figure as Priest, a kingpin who comes across like Tony Montana as much as Ron O'Neal's original cocaine dealer. As with the original Super Fly, clothes and cars are central to the remake. The attitudes of the original Super Fly of course don't necessarily translate to cinema of 2018. We'll see how Director X and Alex Tse have adjusted things to make the story more palatable to today's audiences.

More: Shaft Reboot Recruits Ride Along Director Tim Story

And as a matter of fact Superfly isn't the only blaxploitation title coming back to screens. In 2019, New Line releases a multi generational reboot of Shaft starring Samuel L. Jackson, Richard Roundtree and Jesse T. Usher. In addition, Warner Bros. has plans in the works to remake 1973's Cleopatra Jones.

Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment

Key Release Dates
  • Superfly (2018) release date: Jun 13, 2018
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