How ‘House Party’ throws a rager for a whole new generation

How ‘House Party’ throws a rager for a whole new generation

How House Party throws a rager for a whole new generation with the help of LeBron James

This ain’t your parents’ House Party.

Lester Fabian Brathwaite

What comes to mind when you hear House Party? Is it Christopher “Kid” Reid’s skyscraper hi-top fade? His iconic dance with Christopher “Play” Martin, the Kid ‘n Play Kickstep? Or does the 1990 comedy not even register?

If you’re in that third camp, how sad for you. But fret not, for into every generation a rager is born. The new film House Party may share a name with the popular series that includes numerous sequels of varying quality, but that’s about it — well, besides a brief cameo from the Kid ‘n Play — and that was intentional.

HOUSE PARTY Copyright: © 2022 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures Caption: A scene from New Line Cinema’s “HOUSE PARTY,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

A scene from ‘House Party’

| Credit: Warner Bros

Co-produced by LeBron James and written by Atlanta‘s Stephen Glover and Jamal Olori, this ain’t your parent’s House Party. Director Calmatic was previously a music video director behind such hits as “Old Town Road” and he’s been tapped to helm another remake, White Men Can’t Jump. While Calmatic did feel some pressure tackling a bona-fide classic — the original was selected for preservation by the United States National Film Registry last year — he set out to throw a different kind of 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.”

HOUSE PARTY Copyright: © 2022 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures Caption: (L-r) SCOTT MESCUDI as himself, TOSIN COLE as Damon, KAREN OBILOM as Venus and JACOB LATIMORE as Kevin in New Line Cinema’s “HOUSE PARTY,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

A scene from ‘House Party’

| Credit: Warner Bros

The premise remains mostly the same: Two friends attend a party while someone’s house is empty. In the original, it’s the old parents-away-on-vacation bit. This time around, it’s King James himself. Jacob Latimore (The Maze Runner, The Chi) and Tosin Cole (Dr. Who, Hollyoaks) star as friends Kevin and Damon. They work at a house-cleaning service and on the day they get fired, they end up cleaning one last house, a mega mansion full of sports memorabilia and incredibly large suits.

Once an affirming hologram of James pops up (assuring the real-life James that his hairline is great, as are his decision-making skills), Kevin and Damon realize they’re sitting on a potential goldmine. Throw in the fact that Kevin needs money to send his daughter to some fancy pre-school, and we’re dropping Montell Jordan’s immortal “This Is How We Do It.”

HOUSE PARTY Copyright: © 2022 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures Caption: (L-r) JACOB LATIMORE as Kevin, LEBRON JAMES as himself and TOSIN COLE as Damon in New Line Cinema’s “HOUSE PARTY,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Jacob Latimore, LeBron James, and Tosin Cole in ‘House Party’

| Credit: Warner Bros

According to Calmatic, James was “very involved” in the filmmaking process.

“He assembled a top-tier team of producers and writers to make this film come to life,” the director says of the legendary baller. “He was on set, and he was definitely involved and had opinions and had good feedback to help us make the best movie possible.”

Featuring a bevy of cameos and even an homage to that famous Kickstep, House Party takes a lot of twists and turns during its one crazy night. But in spite of a stoned koala and a crashed Illuminati meeting, Calmatic still sees the film as “a kind of a snapshot of what’s happening in the world and how the youth get down these days.” If there’s one thing that’s true across generations and across all house-party movies — from Animal House to Can’t Hardly Wait to Booksmart — it’s that the kids, when left unsupervised, are gonna do some f—ed up s—. That is universal.

HOUSE PARTY Copyright: © 2022 Warner Bros. Ent. Inc. All rights reserved. Photo Credit: Ron Batzdorff Caption: (L-R) TOSIN COLE as Damon, JACOB LATIMORE as Kevin and D.C. YOUNG FLY as Vic in New Line Cinema’s “HOUSE PARTY.”

A scene from ‘House Party’

| Credit: Ron Batzdorff/Warner Bros.

While comparisons to the original are inevitable, Calmatic hopes his new House Party will not only be able to stand on its own, but be the start of more films like it, directed toward young, Black audiences who have previously been starved for fun cinematic fare.

“I just want audiences to have a good time,” Calmatic says. “I feel like there hasn’t been a movie with this demographic of actors and potential fans in theaters in, I don’t know how long. I literally can’t even say the last time there was a youth Black comedy in theaters. I feel like growing up, there were so many different movies that you can go see in the theater, whether it be Friday, or a House Party, or The Wood, or all these young Black movies. So yeah, I hope that there are a million to come after ours.”

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