Surprise, Surprise, ‘White Men Can’t Jump’ Is Getting a Remake
‘Black-ish’ creator Kenya Barris is writing and Blake Griffin—yes, that one—will produce.
In March of 1992, White Men Can’t Jump arrived in theaters and introduced the world to one of the most charismatic duos in Hollywood history—Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson as star-crossed hustlers Sidney Deane and Billy Hoyle. Now, 25 years later, Fox is bringing the shit-talking, jump shooting characters back in Hollywood’s latest bid to destroy every movie that’s special to you.
Kenya Barris, the creator of NBC’s hit sitcom Black-ish, is reportedly heading up the remake. That’s good news. Black-ish is a smart show that tackles race with more nuance than nearly anything else on TV. That skill will come in handy when remaking White Men, a movie that wasn’t afraid to discuss skin color.
At one point, Hoyle insults Deane for being a typical “brother,” preferring to look good and lose, than look bad and win. Hoyle, meanwhile, is ridiculed for his pale, Opie-ness from the moment he steps on the court. But then, these two become friends and partners, despite saying the kind of stuff that would launch a Twitter mob against them these days. Nuance! Meanwhile, Rosie Perez plays a Latina with attitude who manages to avoid becoming a stereotype despite that rote descriptor.
At this point, it’s hard to be shocked at any movie remake. Complaining about Hollywood’s compulsion to wring every cent out of that which we already love is as predictable as the remakes themselves. But that doesn’t mean you can’t feel a twinge of regret about this news. If only because some poor actor is going to be tasked with recreating a character that Wesley Snipes was born to play.