We’ve known for some time now that LeBron James was teaming up with New Line to throw a brand new House Party, and now that movie has a director, as Calmatic has been tapped to take the reins of the remake on the spurs of directing the music video for Lil Nas X‘s hit remix of “Old Town Road.”
LeBron’s SpringHill Entertainment is developing the project, which is based on the 1990 comedy directed by Reginald Hudlin that starred Christopher “Kid” Reid and Christopher “Play” Martin of the rap duo Kid ‘N Play. The film co-starred Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell-Martin before they worked together on the hit ’90s sitcom Martin, and as you might’ve guessed it chronicled an epic house party. As the kids would say these days, that shit was lit.
Calmatic will direct from a script written by Atlanta scribes Stephen Glover and Jamal Olori, who also shared an Emmy nomination for writing on Saturday Night Live. James will produce with his SpringHill partner Maverick Carter. Spencer Beighley and Jamal Henderson will oversee the House Party remake for SpringHill.
The original House Party opened on just 520 screens but went on to gross an impressive $26 million at the domestic box office. It also spawned four sequels, two of which were released theatrically –one in 1991, the other in 1994. Meanwhile, 2001’s House Party 4: Down to the Last Minute and 2012’s House Party: Tonight’s the Night were released direct-to-video, though Kid ‘N Play did return for that fifth installment after sitting out the fourth film.
The “Old Town Road” video has been viewed more than 327 million times on YouTube, and features a range of entertainment figures including Chris Rock, Diplo, Vince Staples, Haha Davis, Rico Nasty and featured singer Billy Ray Cyrus.
Calmatic’s hiring recalls Sony’s decision to hire Director X (aka Julien Christian Lutz) to direct the Superfly remake based on his music videos for artists such as Jay-Z, Kanye West, Drake, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Usher, though he also had feature experience, whereas Calmatic does not. Still, music videos have launched numerous feature careers — who knows whether David Fincher would be who he is if 20th Century Fox hadn’t hired him to direct Alien 3 based on his music videos for Madonna, George Michael and Iggy Pop — and everybody has to start somewhere, after all.
In addition to directing the video for “Old Town Road,” for which he won an MTV Video Music Award, Calmatic also directed the video for Anderson Paak’s “Bubblin’.” He has also worked with artists ranging from Kendrick Lamar to Lizzo. Calmatic is represented by WME, LBI Entertainment and attorney Ryan Goodell, and his hiring was first reported by Deadline.