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Love Jones II…?

Love Jones

I just got an email with a link to the BET blog (cheers Clifton!), specifically to a post about a possible Love Jones sequel.

Nia Long, who starred in the orignal alongside Larenz Tate, seems a little disparaging of the idea – not sure if it’s because she thinks it’s a piece that should be left well alone, or because she won’t be in it (and it doesn’t seem like she’s been asked).

Long had this to say on the matter:

Making the movie, it was just so close to what I know as being Black – Black love. It’s the closest that you were going to ever get in my opinion — that film is timeless. For years, they’ve been saying, “Let’s do a sequel.” I heard that it’s possible there might be a sequel in the works that’s going straight to video with two other actors because I would never do that and Larenz [Tate] wouldn’t either. I think that’s going to be the biggest mistake they could ever make. It’s a cult classic and people love that movie. If you try to serve that up with different actors and a sequel straight to video, you’re going to piss a lot of people off.

Personally, a sequel that’s this far apart from the orginal (Love Jones came out in 1997) needs to have more than just the name of the first installment slapped on it.

Will it be a what happened next sequel or a catch-up sequel set in the present? Will the brand new cast be in their 20s or in their 30s? Who will lead the new cast? Personally, if it must be done, I’d love to see Long and Tate reprise their roles.

Perhaps it’ll be like Rumor Has It (2005), the Rob Reiner “sequel” to The Graduate (1967), which, or so it would seem from its preceding publicity, relied on reeling in lovers of the original but had very little to offer other than great offence and disappointment for anyone expecting to rekindle their feelings for Mike Nichols‘ expertly crafted Anne Bancroft/Dustin Hoffman/Katharine Ross lust/love triangle.

And speaking of directors, it would seem that Theodore Witcher has done very little since Love Jones (I’m surprised there hasn’t been a milk-carton alert for him on this site. Tambay, Sergio…?). So would Witcher be helming this sequel and, if so, would it just be a ploy to make some quick straight to DVD bucks by exploiting the fondness by most black film lovers for his erstwhile one-trick? Or will some other ill-advised director be taking it on?

I wasn’t aware at the time but, according to IMDb Pro, the original won the Audience Award at Sundance that year (it tied with a movie called Hurricane Streets. Oh yeah, I remember that…! Not).

Oh well, it will be interesting to see if this ever comes to see the light of day. If it does, I’ll probably re-watch the original and then take a gander at Love Jones II, although I wont’ raise my hopes too high.

Here’s a delicious but not too naughty reminder of the original.

10 comments to Love Jones II…?

  • Hmmm… I guess it could be like “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset” which were about 9 years apart, and the sequel did just as well as the first; although the first ended in a way that anticipated a sequel. I haven’t seen “Love Jones” in ages, and, quite honestly, I don’t remember much of it. Time to go watch it again I suppose.

    If a sequel does happen, I think it’d run the risk of being lumped in with all the other so-called buppie romcoms that came after “Love Jones.” It’ll have to be done somewhat differently than those in order to separate itself from them, encouraging audiences to believe that it’s not just another “Best Man,” or “Brown Sugar,” or any of all those others that starred Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Sanaa Lathan, Gabrielle Union, and, yes, even Nia Long.

    Maybe get a director with a different sense of style, and who’s shown an interest in handling romance, like maybe an up-and-comer like Barry Jenkins, for example. I’d be much more interested in seeing what fresh talent like Barry can do with the material.

    • Before Sunrise and Before Sunset had the same cast and director. With Long and Tate not in the rumoured LJ sequel, you’re left having to adapt to and accept new actors in familiar roles and will probably end up comparing rather then engaging. Watching Delpy and Hawke in “Sunset” was like catching up on the private lives of close friends.

      It would be interesting to see what Jenkins could do with it and might actually give the franchise a little boost as, like you said, without a fresh approach it runs the risk of being just another run of the mill buppie romance. Still, I’m not sure I’d want to be the director that tampers with people’s memory of a much beloved film that he didnt make in the first instance… even though it’s a sequel and not a remake.

  • Aaron

    Bring back the same cast with a real smart script that is happening with black folks in there late 30′s. I am sure if this was tackle in real time it would be just as interesting. It seem in the our community love stop @35, which is insane.

    I am sure there are older director who will put a fresh real side to it.

  • ladybug

    Aaron’s “after 35″ idea with a fresh, young director like Barry Jenkins would be something I might want to see. Is someone important reading?

  • mlm

    bad idea. haha i think a what happened next would be nice. if they add new characters it will be like save the last dance 2.

  • Barry

    I appreciate the love but I’m with everybody else, they need to get Nia and Larenz on-board and let Teddy Witcher pick the story back up all these years later. I’m with Tambay, if Linklater could do it why couldn’t Teddy? And like other folks, I think the world is ready for black folks over the age of 35 to have a romance film that’s real. I’m just sayin’!

  • Anthony E

    NAW. Leave it alone. Although being as how some company may have acquired the rights. Which happened recently. Thus New Line black films Menace II Society, Friday and Set It Off all recieved the extended DVD treatment due to WB now owning New Line. So it would appear they have now figured out a way to milk the love jones cow. By making a sequel. It is happens, it happens. It will be like awaiting a storm or an earthquake. Similar to what happened with Belly 2. But if it does. May GOD finally answer my prayers and award us with a great Special Edition DVD of music videos, trailers, deleted scenes, retrospective, and an audio commentary by the director.
    Usually when they brutally ruin a film with a remake or a sequel they at least bring out a better DVD of the original. I wish, Ihope, I pray.
    But no sequel would be best… Ed said it best.
    “and just walk away.”

    • @Anthony E. lol at the
      “and just walk away”…word
      Ed did say it best indeed I am
      20 and I remember watching it
      as a child and not getting it
      and then the older i got I grew
      to literally fall in love with the
      love story, their style and all of the
      characters.

      At the time the style was fresh
      and like many others said it would
      have to be a fresh approach now
      and the director would have to be
      very very careful in handling this.

      personally I do not wish to see this
      movie with different characters..It just
      wouldnt be right. Like one of the other
      comments said I feel as if the whole time
      I would be comparing and analysing instead
      of truly watching. The first movie was soo
      perfect that it either just needs to stay
      as is or if there is another to be made
      the only way I see it working is if
      the cast is the same…THE ONLY WAYY!!

      :)

      nice post
      -PeAcE

  • Kenya M.

    I just fnished watching Love Jones and I would love to be able to pop in part 2 to this movie. Yes the movie was open to the imigination with the ending but there is definatly a great posibality for a part two. Like who moved with who? How did the married couple do? Did Darius and Nina get married? What happened to Bill Bellimy? So many possabilitie. Please make another one sombody?

  • If there is a part 2, Theo probably won’t be doing it.

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0936673/board/nest/1147482

    It would be a big mistake to do it even if he did. Just do a movie that would be like the sequel and call it something else. Stay away from that title. Use actors of Japan or Sweden instead. Don’t touch the classic.