In a State Farm ad a few years ago, LeBron James used Kid N’ Play as something of a punchline, but it was also clear that he was a fan of “House Party,” the 1990 film starring the hip-hop duo. As it turns out, James is such a big fan that he’s bringing the “House Party” franchise back to theaters, albeit in an updated version.
“This is definitely not a reboot. It’s an entirely new look for a classic movie,” James said Tuesday (via The Hollywood Reporter). “Everyone I grew up with loved ‘House Party.’ To partner with this creative team to bring a new ‘House Party’ to a new generation is unbelievable.”
James will produce the movie through SpringHill Entertainment, the company he runs with his business partner and longtime friend, Maverick Carter. The screenplay is reportedly being written by Stephen Glover and Jamal Olori, known for their work on the FX series, “Atlanta.”
One question that immediately arises is this: Will James himself appear in the movie? “There’s no plan for it now, but he’s a fantastic actor, and if he wants a role, Stephen will find a great role to put him in,” Carter said Tuesday.
If the plot for the new “House Party” is entirely reimagined, then there may not be any characters akin to Kid N’ Play, let alone a scene where Kid (a.k.a. Christopher Reid in the original) gets bullied. However, given that the bullies’ roles went to the members of Full Force, who also contributed to the soundtrack, that could be an ideal spot for the physically imposing James to make an appearance.
We already know James can perform some of the dance moves Kid N’ Play broke out in the original. Here is his tribute to the film in the State Farm ad, compared with the famous scene from the first “House Party” (sequels followed in 1991 and 1994), featuring Full Force’s “Ain’t My Type of Hype.”
“When I was growing up as a youngster, I was like, ‘Man, I hope I get an opportunity to throw one of these house parties, where it’s just a lot of fun, a lot of joking around, dancin’, people just having a good time,’ ” James said (via cleveland.com). “We’re going to have a lot of fun with it. I maybe even make a cameo in it, but we’ll see.”
“We’re trying out some ideas for musicians to be cast in and to be a part of the project,” Carter said. Speculation has already centered on Drake, who is friends with James, has acting experience and is collaborating with SpringHill on a Netflix series.
James isn’t the only NBA superstar moonlighting as a Hollywood producer. THR also reported Tuesday that Kevin Durant is partnering with Apple on a scripted drama about his experiences as an elite youth basketball player in the D.C. area’s AAU circuit.
While we wait to see if James and Durant square off again in the NBA Finals, the former laughed at a reminder that several of his new Cavaliers teammates, following a trade-deadline makeover, were not born when “House Party” hit theaters. “My man Swish [J.R. Smith] right here knows what ‘House Party’ is all about,” the 33-year-old James said.
As for the other popular 1990s movie to which James has been attached, “Space Jam” will apparently have to wait at least until after his “House Party” is in full swing. A new version of the Michael Jordan-Warner Bros. basketball film is still “a ways off,” according to Carter.
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