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About the Cast
In the role of Youngblood Priest, the filmmakers cast Trevor Jackson, best known for his roles on "grown-ish" and "American Crime Story" but also a talented songwriter, music video director, and rising R&B recording artist.

"For Priest, we wanted someone who just had an innate cool about them - someone who had you thinking, 'There's something about that guy,'" says X. "Trevor Jackson is one of those people. There is something about this guy, and he brings it."

What Priest does for a living doesn't define him; he has a moral code - tough as he is, he doesn't kill - and feels a responsibility to care for those who work for him. He wants for nothing, is well-liked and respected, but now that he has options, he chooses to opt out and start anew. "Priest is extremely focused, but a bit restless," says X. "He wants new challenges, he wants new things. There's people in the world that just shine brighter and Priest is one of these people. There are people in the world who get more and since they get more, they take more responsibility, and that's Priest."

For Jackson, the role of Priest and the material offered the perfect mix of layers that appealed to him as an actor, "Priest is young, he's smooth, he's cool; it's a different kind of fly, for sure," says the actor. Having seen the original film, he says, he sought to make the role his own. "I wanted to try to find my own voice, do my own version of it. Priest is hungry, he's starving for success, the American Dream kind of success, and I definitely connected with him on that. Regardless of whether it's 1972 or 2018, whether you come from nothing or come from something, there's always going to be that pursuit of pushing forward and obtaining whatever that goal is of yours, and I feel like this is the perfect story to tell."

Besides Priest, the filmmakers would also retain key characters from the original Super Fly including Eddie, Georgia, Cynthia, Fat Freddie and Scatter. All would be reimagined in this modern version, but still recognizable to fans of the original.

Priest's right-hand man, the guy who makes sure everything is in place for the boss and takes care of business, is Eddie. For the filmmakers, Jason Mitchell's charismatic turn as Eazy-E in Straight Outta Compton and most recently the Oscar-nominated Mudbound, propelled him to the top of their short list for the role.

"There's an explosiveness behind Eddie's eyes, behind his words, behind his body language, and Jason channels it all flawlessly," remarks the director.

"Eddie is someone who the streets both saved and took," says Mitchell. "He's the kind of guy that you just hate to love, but you can't help but love him. He's a super loyal guy, the kind of guy you want on your team."

Eddie knows he's good at his job and has no other aspiration but to stay the course and be king of the hill. "Priest has this idea in his mind that he's gonna get out but Eddie has more of a grip on life. He realizes they are doing too well to leave when they're on top. Big money is why they got in the game and Eddie doesn't want to leave. He loves Priest, but who knows what Eddie's gonna do. He's the wildcard," Mitchell continues.

"Eddie is deeply devoted to Priest, and Priest to Eddie, but their business is at the heart of that friendship," Mitchell continues. "Priest puts Eddie in an impossible situation when Priest decides to get out - that's fine for Priest, but what does it mean for Eddie? At a certain point, Eddie's going to have to look out for himself - he has a choice to make and I don't think he necessarily sees that choice as a betrayal."

Rounding out Priest's crew is Fat Freddie, played by New York stage actor Jacob Ming-Trent. Fat Freddie is Eddie's backup and ensures business is being handled. Of course, Fat Freddie sees everyone around him flashing cash, and although he isn't ready, he wants a seat at the table.

"Fat Freddie is a stone-cold killer," says Ming-Trent. "He's very ambitious, but first and foremost looks out for Eddie and Priest. He's the muscle in the crew but he wants a little more, just like everybody else. He's just trying to get something for himself, which always leads to conflict."

Freddie's also a bit error-prone, according to X. "We've all got that friend - if someone's gonna mess up something, when they break the pricey vase or forget to show up on time - it's going to be him. That's Fat Freddie," says the director.

In Super Fly, Priest had two girlfriends who each came from two very different backgrounds. According to X, it's an updated take on the original film. "In the original, Priest has two girlfriends, but you don't know if they know each other or how they feel about each other. They bring opposing viewpoints about Priest," says X. "As we thought about that, we thought that the modern version of that would be that the three of them would be in a committed relationship together - the three of them love each other deeply. It's unconventional, but we embraced what the source material gave us. It was a choice that evolved from the original film, so we brought their differing perspectives into the story - Georgia and Cynthia are the yin and yang. They each have valid points, but they're always opposite, so you get both sides of the argument from these two. Altogether you can see how these two women and Priest make one unit."

Lex Scott Davis and Andrea Londo take on the roles.

Georgia's relationship with Priest runs deep, they go back but you wouldn't know it from her polished, professional manner as the decidedly upscale art gallery owner with the glamorous clothes.

Davis, who previously starred in the CBS series "Training Day" and the telepic "Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart," says that the characters' points of view have also evolved from the original film. "The women have strength and something to say. They're powerful," she says. "I'm excited to be a voice for that type of woman who can be fun and fly, and also possess dominance and strength. I'm most excited to bring the 2018 versions of these characters, to a new generation, my generation."

Davis says that Georgia, her character, shows different sides at times. "She can be street one minute, then poised the next when she needs to be. She knows that there's a time and place for everything. She's strong, cool, classy - she has that maturity, that wisdom."

Londo, who is known for her role on the Netflix series "Narcos," portrays Cynthia, a woman who owns her authority and can navigate any situation with a stern, no-nonsense approach.

"I always look for one redeeming quality in any character I play," she says. "It's not a matter of liking or disliking the role, but whether or not the personality and the actions are true in the context of the world she exists in. I certainly found that in Cynthia - she's real. Some of her is stereotypical - she's feisty, sexy, strong - but she has to be in order to be successful and succeed in this world she's so passionately strived to be a part of. You get the sense that she fought hard to be where she is in life. And at the end of the day, her story is about protecting what she's built, a life she's unwilling to sacrifice for anyone, and I value that."

Michael Kenneth Williams, who is known for his roles in HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" and "The Wire," plays the role of Scatter.

"Scatter's the Mr. Miyagi to Priest's Daniel-san, but you know the old saying of how the student becomes the teacher? It definitely applies to Priest and Scatter," says Williams. "The dynamic between Scatter and Priest is old school versus new school so there's some friction between the two. Scatter's not going to go down easily. He may be the old dog, but he still knows the tricks and his tricks still work in this game."

"I got my start in the music video world when Hype Williams, Spike Jonze, Marcus Nispel and Paul Hunter were doing their thing," says Williams. "I still watch music videos, so I've seen a lot of X's work and I'm inspired by it. The right X video will get you in the gym, but it's not only about the song itself, it's also about the imagery that matches the song and the intent and the emotion behind it. That matters to me. X is truly a master at his craft, so it's an honor to work with him and to see him get his shot, especially with a film like Superfly."

One way of paying homage to the trap music scene of Atlanta that infuses all aspects of the filmmaking was to cast the supporting roles with some of the region's stars and legends. Antwan "Big Boi" Patton, best known as one-half of the hip-hop duo Outkast, was cast as Mayor Atkins, a shady politician who has no qualms working the systems for his own ends. Rick Ross, whose elaborate estate became a key film location, plays Racks. Lecrae Moore, the Christian rapper, makes an appearance in the funeral scene.

Big Boi, a fan of the original film, remembers his dad and uncles watching the film when he was a kid. Later, he would discover the Curtis Mayfield soundtrack and find the similarities with his Atlanta-tinged musical tastes. "The score to Super Fly was one of the first things I fell in love with," he says. "The music captured the essence of the characters and the whole movie - Curtis Mayfield really, really destroyed that soundtrack. And later, it was one of our major influences of making music. With Atlanta being the hotbed for music right now, the sound that's embedded inside Atlanta is from the early days of Outkast with 'Player's Ball,' which has a Curtis Mayfield feel to it, to the album 'Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik,' it kind of syncs up with the Superfly remix. I think Atlanta is the spot for music, and as far as style and influence and culture."

As Priest puts his exit strategy into motion, circumstances get more complicated and he gets pulled further back into the business as he faces additional obstacles: rival gang Sno Patrol, drug kingpin Adalberto Gonzalez, and a pair of crooked cops.

Sno Patrol is the high-profile gang fronted by Q and his hot-tempered lieutenant Juju. "Alex came up with the idea behind Sno Patrol and how they wear all white," says X. "I thought it was perfect. It informs the movie the minute they're introduced on screen. Once you see the bad guys all wearing white, driving white cars with white guns, it shows we're turning it up a bit and having a little fun with this thing."

Hip-hop artist Big Bank Black, Atlanta born and bred, would be cast in the role of Q, who runs Sno Patrol yet has established a cordial détente with Priest. Big Bank Black came to the attention of the filmmakers at the suggestion of Atlanta-based recording artist 21 Savage, who participated in an early table read of the script. 21 Savage was on the mark: Director X and Joel Silver were charmed by the rapper's innate swagger.

"We wanted to bring some authenticity for some of our key roles and that's what guys like Bank bring," says X. "He's from Atlanta and knows this life. He is Atlanta."

"I wanted to be a part of the movie, especially because it was set in Atlanta," says Big Bank Black. "Atlanta's running the game right now."

"Big Bank, his name fits him. He's flashy, big money, music, swag, everything. I feel like he is perfect for this film and the role of Q," says producer Joel Silver. "Basically, he took his real life and just brought the feeling to the film. I feel like the best part of this movie is half the time it doesn't feel like there's any acting in it - a lot of the cast brought a little bit of themselves into it, which makes the film feel real natural and authentic."

Los Angeles-based hip-hop artist Kaalan "KR" Walker stepped into the role of Juju, Q's hot-tempered and reckless right-hand man, who has a major issue with Priest. The only thing holding him back is his respect and loyalty to Q.

"Juju is hateful, he's jealous, he hates following rules, and he hates anybody that tries to tell him what to do," says Walker. "But he sees himself as a leader and hates watching someone else be a leader. That's the guy he wants to be. He has a leader mindset, so the fact he has to take orders, is very difficult for him."

Veteran actor Esai Morales would be cast in the role of Adalberto, the calculating, ambitious head of the Mexican drug cartel and Scatter's source. When he sees what Priest is capable of, he makes Priest an offer he can't refuse.

"Priest has inserted himself into Adalberto's world looking to get a bigger piece of business. After a shaky start, Adalberto makes it clear to Priest that he should follow my line of thinking as far as being smarter and producing more," says Morales. "Adalberto sees this young, charismatic, handsome man as the way to up his own game, so he's making more money."

Dirty cops were a major part of the original film's plot and they resurface, albeit, in an unexpected way. Actress Jennifer Morrison portrays Detective Mason and Brian Durkin portrays Officer Turk Franklin, who stumble upon Priest and Eddie's operation. It's an abundance of unexpected riches for the dirty cops, who begin to squeeze the pair into a tighter corner.

"Detective Mason is just a really bad person," says Morrison. "She is a highly corrupt dirty cop. Maybe she started out undercover for the department and went rogue and started making money on the side by having these drug dealers in her pocket. As she got more and more corrupt she's just gone down a really dark path where she's pretty much manipulative and horrible and sort of soulless."

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