The year was 1996. The film was “Kazaam,” a comedy starring Shaquille O’Neal as a rapping genie who lives in a boombox and gives a young boy three wishes.
Despite how incredible that description sounds, the film flopped with both critics and audiences. (Budding film snob, 8-year-old Sarah Anne Hughes, strongly disagreed with this assessment. Present day Sarah Anne Hughes presents Shaq’s delivery of the line “I am Kazaam!” to back her younger self up.)
I was a medium-level juvenile delinquent from Newark who always dreamed about doing a movie. Someone said, "Hey, here's $7 million, come in and do this genie movie." What am I going to say, no? So I did it.
That sounds about right. The question remains: How much money will it take to get O’Neal to agree to “Kazaam 2”?