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
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
"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
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
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
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
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 dÃ©tente 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
"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
"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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