Leave it to Hollywood to make sequels to just about anything with a sellable brand, even if no one demanded it. The latest victim of the direct-to-DVD sequel trend is 1991’s crime thriller “New Jack City”, which was directed by Mario Van Peeples and originally starred Wesley Snipes, Peeples, Ice-T, Judd Nelson as the token white guy, and a pre-superstar Chris Rock playing a junkie named “Pookie” (pictured, below). The film, about New York City cops forming a street-smart task force to take down Projects drug dealer kingpin Nino Brown (played by Snipes), was something of a hit back in the day. Plus, the title itself has become even more popular over the years.
News of the sequel’s impending arrival comes via Reuters, who had a story about a Transit Authority worker who got into a car accident, decided to write a script, got the script seen by Hollywood, and he’s now currently writing the sequel:
Living in Brooklyn, Michael Martin had just totaled his car in an accident. While in physical therapy, he entered a screenwriting competition, hoping to win the prize money for his new set of wheels.
“I had never written a screenplay before,” said Martin, who had studied film in college. “I thought, ‘How hard can it be?’ I was more like, ‘If I win this, I can get a new car.”‘
His screenplay came in second but eventually ended up in a far better place: the doorstep of Warner Bros.-based producer who had been looking for a writer with an authentic and gritty voice to write a sequel to the 1991 gangbanger saga “New Jack City,” which was in development at Warner Premiere, the studio’s direct-to-DVD division. Impressed by “Finest,” Mary Viola set out find the writer, who then had no agent.
Although since Nino Brown got his ass capped, as the kids would say, at the end of “New Jack City”, my guess is that the sequel will be about another NYC kingpin and the cops assigned to bring him down. If the filmmakers are smart, they’ll bring back Mario Van Peebles and his character from the original to tie in the two films.