When you hear “House Party,” what comes to mind? Is it Christopher “Kid” Reid’s skyscraper hi-top fade and his iconic dance with Christopher “Play” Martin, the Kid ‘n Play Kickstep? Or does the 1990 comedy not register with you? If you’re not familiar with the original film, don’t worry – the new “House Party” movie is a new take on the concept and features a brief cameo from the Kid ‘n Play.
The new “House Party” movie, co-produced by LeBron James and written by Atlanta’s Stephen Glover and Jamal Olori, is not your typical remake. Director Calmatic, known for his work on music videos like “Old Town Road”, has been chosen to lead the project and another remake of “White Men Can’t Jump”.
Although Calmatic felt some pressure in remaking a classic film – the original was selected for preservation by the United States National Film Registry last year – he wanted to create a unique and different version of the party.
“I think everyone kind of expects one thing,” Calmatic tells EW. “And when they announced that they were making House Party, immediately on Twitter, people are like, ‘Don’t remake this. Don’t ruin a classic,’ and this kind of stuff. But I think, to be honest, this movie, even though we pull from the original movie, it’s not a beat by beat remake. It’s a whole new movie. I feel like the title, House Party, is so vague that this story could go a million different ways, and we definitely take it in a whole different direction. And so, while I felt the pressure, I’m super excited about what we brought to the table, and hopefully it’ll ease some of those super fans’ minds as far as what can be done.”
The basic idea of the new “House Party” movie is similar to the original: two friends attend a party at an empty house. In the original, the house is empty because the parents are away on vacation, but in the new version, the house belongs to LeBron James.
The movie stars Jacob Latimore (The Maze Runner, The Chi) and Tosin Cole (Dr. Who, Hollyoaks) as friends Kevin and Damon. They work at a house cleaning service and get fired on the same day they clean a mega mansion full of sports memorabilia and large suits.
When a hologram of LeBron James appears and confirms that his hairline and decision-making skills are great, Kevin and Damon realize they have stumbled upon a potential goldmine. With the added incentive of needing money to send Kevin’s daughter to a prestigious pre-school, the two friends decide to take advantage of the opportunity, leading to them throwing a party, as per the theme of the movie.
Director Calmatic says that LeBron James was heavily involved in the filmmaking process for the new House Party movie. According to Calmatic, James put together a team of high-quality producers and writers and was present on set, providing feedback to ensure the best possible outcome for the film. The movie features various cameos and references the famous Kickstep dance from the original film.
Despite its wild and unexpected turns, Calmatic sees the film as a reflection of current youth culture and behavior, as is typical in most house party movies, where young people often get into mischief and trouble when left unsupervised.
Director Calmatic acknowledges that comparisons to the original House Party movie are inevitable but he hopes that his new version will be able to stand on its own and be the start of a new wave of fun cinematic fare for young black audiences who have been underrepresented in the past.
He wants audiences to have a good time and to see themselves represented on the big screen, he feels that there hasn’t been a youth black comedy movie in theaters for a long time and he wishes to see more movies like that. Calmatic is hoping that this House Party will open the door for more movies like it, directed toward young Black audiences who have previously been underrepresented in mainstream cinema.