Director X’s take on the classic film Superfly is a bit different than the original: X’s version takes place in 2018 Atlanta, while the first 1972 film took place in Harlem. During CinemaCon, X addressed the distinction. “Superfly is timeless. It’s the definition of cool,” he said, adding, “One thing has remained. The hustle.”
X spoke with Deadline during the convention, sharing that he chose Superfly for his first studio feature because of its “classic material,” which he stuck to. “If you know the original Superfly, you’re going to see your favorite characters. They’re not going to have the exact same thing happen to them but you can see it’s inspired by the original film,” he said.
X has made a name for himself as a music video director whose aesthetic is recognizably colorful and sleek, something he’s included in the film. He’s worked with a number of prominent artists, like Drake, Usher, Kanye West, Jay Z, Justin Bieber, Sean Paul, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna.
Blaxploitation has not always been seen favorably, particularly because of its stereotypical portraiture of Black culture. However, X didn’t shy away from the genre's seemingly bad reputation.
“I come from stigma filmmaking,” said X. “I make music videos where it’s always lesser. I don’t care. I’m not concerned with what people think about what we’re doing.”
He also shared that the film doesn’t dig deep into political or social commentary. “This is an action film,” he said. “We’re light on moral lessons.”
He added, “We wanted to make a Black film that’s fun… it’s an escape with melanin.”
Superfly is slated for release on June 15.