Everything’s being rebooted these days, so why not New Jack City? Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. has decided to dust off their 1991 gangster classic, which starred Wesley Snipes as a rising crime lord and Ice-T as the undercover officer hell-bent on taking him down.
The news is still in the larval stage, which is to say there are no stars, no director, no released date — though there is a writer: Michael M. Mays, whose part as a regular cast member on the FX drug saga Snowfall, about the early days of the 1980s crack epidemic, makes him qualified to redo a film that concerned the same plague.
When it came out almost three decades ago, New Jack City was a hit, grossing eight times its $8 million budget, and it gave Ice-T his first stab at a dramatic performance, following musical appearances in his early years in Breakin’, its wonderfully named sequel and Rappin’. It also featured Chris Rock, then known only as a comic and an SNL regular, in a serious role, as an addict-turned-snitch.
It remains to be seen how Mays and team will update New Jack City, though one imagines it will involve the opioid epidemic, or perhaps meth. And will they keep the name? The title was a reference to New Jack Swing, the drum machine-heavy fusion genre that was popular in the mid-’80s and died not long after the film that mostly bore its name hit theaters. Moreover, will they bring back gritty Judd Nelson for at least a cameo?