20th Century Studios has unveiled the first footage of its remake of “White Men Can’t Jump,” starring Sinqua Walls and Jack Harlow.
Set to Skee-Lo’s “I Wish,” the 30-second clip features footage of the two playing basketball and arguing the merits of the finest cinematic artists of our time.
“I’m like the P. T. Anderson of basketball psychological warfare,” Harlow’s character, named Jeremy, says in the trailer, referring to Anderson as “our greatest living director.”
“Spike Lee is our greatest living director,” Walls’ Kamal responds.
Released in 1992, the original “White Men Can’t Jump” starred Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson as a pair of street basketball hustlers who team up for a big match-up. Written and directed by Ron Shelton, the sports comedy was a box office success upon release and has garnered a reputation as one of the more beloved studio films of the ’90s.
Charles Kidd II, known professionally as Calmatic, directs the remake from a script by “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris and Doug Hall. Described as a “modern remix” of the 1992 original, Harlow’s Jeremy is a “former star of the game whose injuries stalled his career,” while Walls’ Kamal is a “promising player who derailed his own future in the sport.”
The film’s official synopsis explains: “Juggling tenuous relationships, financial pressures and serious internal struggles, the two ballers — opposites who are seemingly miles apart — find they might have more in common than they imagined possible.”
“White Men Can’t Jump” marks Harlow’s transition from hitmaker to actor, as the Grammy-nominated rapper — who is up for three trophies during Sunday’s award ceremony — makes his feature film debut. Walls is best known for his turns in last year’s Sundance horror breakout “Nanny” and the comedy series “American Soul.” The film also stars Teyana Taylor, Laura Harrier, Vince Staples, Myles Bullock and Lance Reddick.
In an interview with Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe, Harlow reflected on the effort he put into landing the role.
“I put the time in with the script. … I tried to be egoless during the audition, take notes, do what I had to do,” Harlow explained. “I just want to kill it. I just want to be good, and I want to do everything I can to make it good.”
Likewise, Calmatic sang Harlow’s praises to Variety, in an interview promoting last month’s “House Party,” which he also directed, confirming that the rapper blew the filmmakers away with his audition.
“He was very committed and got emotional for a scene and took it there, and then once we got on set, it was a wrap,” Calmatic recalled. “His charm from being an artist leapt over to his acting side.”
The filmmaker continued: “I’m calling it now. I feel like 10 years from now, it’s going to be ‘Jack Harlow, the actor, who just happens to also be one of the best rappers in the game.'”
Barris is producing the film through his company Khalabo Ink Society alongside Paul Hall. Current Boston Celtics player Blake Griffin serves as an executive producer, alongside Ryan Kalil and Noah Weinstein for their label Mortal Media. Calmatic, Doug Hall and E. Brian Dobbins also executive produce.
“White Men Can’t Jump” is set to debut on Hulu on May 19 and will also stream on Star+ in Latin America and Disney+ under the Star banner in all other territories.
Watch the first look at “White Men Can’t Jump” below.