Reboots can either be surprisingly good or hot trash. Most of the time, it’s the latter, so it’s understandable there are collective groans when a remake or reboot of a classic film is announced. This brings us to House Party, the 2023 remake directed by first-time film director Calmatic.
The film lives under LeBron James‘ SpringHill Entertaintment tentpole. James is an admitted fan of the House Party franchise starring legendary Hip-Hop duo Kid ‘n Play, so it’s no surprise he would jump at the idea of a remake.
House Party Has A Different Plot From The Original
Like the original film, House Party 2023 follows two friends, Kevin (Jacob Latimore) and Damon (Tosin Cole). Both are struggling to make ends meet and work at a cleaning company.
Kevin is desperate for money to put his daughter in a good school, and Damon is a struggling party promoter who wants to help.
After they find themselves down on some luck after getting fired from their cleaning jobs, they decide to throw a party at the mansion they are cleaning. The posh digs belong to Lebron James, who is out of town for an extended period so that this crazy plan might work.
They enlist the help of their friend Vic (D.C. Young Fly) to be the DJ for the night, but he has a bad habit of getting too lit and killing the vibes by not fulfilling his DJaying duties.
They also have to worry about a trio of haters led by Kyle (Allen Maldanado), Guile (Rotimi), and Larry (Melvin Gregg), who look to rain on Kevin and Damon’s party after it makes their bash flops.
Cassius Life spoke exclusively with the film’s cast about the care that went into making the film so that it pays homage to the original and injects some new energy into giving new fans something they can hold onto for years. We also asked them if they spoke with any cast from the original House Party films.
Tosin Cole Reveals Kid ‘n Play Gave Them The Nod of Approval
“I didn’t get to talk to anyone in the original prior to it. We had conversations with Kid ‘n Play when they came on the set, and we had a brief conversation here and there,” Cole tells Cassius Life. “But it was just more so of them just kind of giving the nod of approval of what we’re doing. But in terms of that, it was just like me and Cal [Calmatic].”
He continues, “Me and Cal, we was locked in. And obviously, me and Jay had knew each other before, so we was already locked in. So we was just doing all of that stuff. And then everyone else just kind of came on later on.”
“But yeah, in terms of injecting, everything was new. Everyone just created their own vibe. Everyone did their own thing, their own energy, their own humor. We tried to make it as much as it is a House Party, as much as a reboot, we tried to make our own thing and try to make it as fresh as possible. I’m not going to try and replicate what they did. No one’s trying to do the same thing. So we just try to keep it fresh and keep it going.”
Latimore adds that they want to “capture a feeling.”
Rotimi Wanted To Make Sure To Bring His A Game To House Party
“For me, when I first got the script, man, I just thank God because this is a dream for any young actor right now. So to be a part of something that touched the soul of a culture, and now we got to bring it back to life 25 years later, it was like, “all right, bro, you got to bring your A game,’” Rotimi begins. “You got to really take this comedy thing funny, I mean serious. And then you got to make sure people feel like the essence of that, but also the new school feeling of it.”
He continues, “And then when I saw the cast, it was like, oh, we got a dream team. We got every element that they need. So it was just a really, really perfect lightning-in-the-bottle moment. And I feel like everybody’s just going to genuinely love it, genuinely.”
D.C. Young Fly Knows House Party Has To Have The Same Energy As The Original
“We can’t touch a classic, but one thing is like music. We could take a sample from the classic and recreate a whole nother new song with it,” the comedian begins. “But it got to have that same energy that you felt when you first heard the classic. And when we did it, we knew it was pressure. But like you said, it was great pressure because it was like y’all holding us up to a standard that we got to proceed past.”
“And I feel like we did that. And the responses that we getting from this movie was like, we appreciate y’all for paying homage to the OGs, but it looked like a whole nother movie. And that’s what we wanted. And salute to Cal.”
“This his debut movie, man. It’s so much pressure on him. But I feel like the cast, the actresses, the actors, everybody played they part, because we knew what we had to do. And when everybody comes together and bring they A game, man, we can’t be stopped,” Young Fly added.
D.C. Young Fly Says The OG Cast Appreciates What They Are Doing
“I seen them [Kid ‘n Play] on Wild ‘n Out, And when I seen them, they was more so embracive, you feel me? Because they was like, ‘We appreciate y’all for doing this because it sheds light on House Party. It’s not just stuck in that generation.’”
He continues, “We get to a point where when we transcend from something, we transition from something, we’re gone. Today, our fan base, may not have seen House Party. So when we do it, they want to go see why we even created this. Because history has to be told by us. If we don’t tell it, somebody else going to tell it. And you know how that go. So I feel like this is one of those moments, and that’s why it hit the way it did.”
You can watch the entire interview above, where we also talk about party fails and what an epic real-life House Party would look like if they threw one in the video above.
House Party is now playing in theaters everywhere.
Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures / House Party