Streets of Fire with an all black cast

Ok, here’s my project I spent entirely too long working on. Let me know what you think.

I regularly have vivid dreams. I recently had a dream where a remake of Streets of Fire was playing in the background, except Tom Cody was played by a black actor.

This got me thinking. Back in the day, when I worked in a video store, one of the games we would play was imagining a remake of a movie and what modern actors would play the roles. It was a great thought experiment and a great way to kill time when business was slow.

A modern version of that game could be re-casting a remake of a movie with an all female cast, a more diverse cast, or, as inspired above, an all black cast. This idea is, at least partially, inspired by Black Harry Potter from Twitter last year (which is a remake I would totally watch).

Here’s my casting ideas for a remake of one of my favorites, Streets of Fire, with an all black cast.

Tom Cody – Classic tough guy, cast in a hardboiled mode, home from the war and can’t/won’t settle into civilian life. Confident, competant, and capabale, never any doubt that he can handle himself in any situation. Originally played by Michael Pare. There’s a couple of options here: Michael P Jordan, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Idris Elba, Mahershala Ali

Ellen Aim – Part Siren, part chanteuse. All femme fatale energy. Tougher and more independant than anyone realizes. Wants better for herself. Played by Dianne Lane

Tiffany Haddish (I though about going with a singer but ultimately decided to go with an actress)

Billy Fish – Man, I can’t figure this one out. Originally played by Rick Moranis, Fish is a blustery businessman who thinks he can negotiate his way out of any problem. Not a tough guy but is not afraid of Cody, mainly because he thinks he’s better than him. Played by Rick Moranis.

McCoy – Another soldier looking for a war. If Cody has a little bit of the reluctant fighter in him, McCoy is always spoiling for a fight. McCoy was originally played by Amy Madigan.

Tarij P Henson

Raven – Slimy, sinister leather daddy, almost cartoonishly bad, but all evil. Originally played by Willem Defoe. Donald Glover

Reva – Cody’s steadfast sister and the steady one in the family. No hothouse flower this one, she’s sidelined for much of the action but there’s no doubt she could handle herself. Originally played by Deborah Van Valkenburg. Gabrielle Union

Greer – Small but memorable role played by old-school punk by Lee Ving. He is Raven’s right hand man. Ving Rhames (originally had Tracey Morgan in this spot)

Clyde – Another small but memorable role. Partly memorable because he was played by Bill Paxton if we’re being honest. Bokeem Woodbine

Torchies band – Torchies is the memorable baddie bar where Ellen Aim is being held. It exudes an over the top energy and charm. The house band was oroginly played by The Blasters. Streets of Fire was originally called a Rock & Roll Fable, if that tone is maintained: Fishbone or Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears. However, my left field choice is Tank and the Bangas. If a different tone was taken, like A Hip Hop Fable, then maybe you go Roots.

Dancer at Torchies – Lisa Codrington, who plays Gail in Letterkenny, would have a blast with this role.

Additionally, you can have a ton of fun by stocking various Bombers with a who’s who of older, black actors. Basically, a bunch of grey beards sitting on bikes looking tough: Keith David, Lawrence Fishburn, Forrest Whitaker, Delroy Lindo, Glynn Thurman, Lance Reddick, Clarke Peters, Frankie Faison, Robert Wisdom, Isaiah Whitlock Jr, Brian anthony Wilson, Danny Glover, Joe Morton, Richard Roundtree.

You get the idea.

From John Ware to the Compton Cowboys: 100 years of scholarship, writings, and re-contextualizing the black experience in the west

Man that’s a wordy title.

A couple of times, over the past year on social media, the topic of black cowboys has come up. It’s a fascinating subject that goes against the typical presentations seen in western fiction and stories of the west.

I just wanted to pull together, in one place, a list of some of the books on the subject. Basically, the books I’ve read. They’re all readily available and provide great insights and a solid introduction to the topic.

This is not an exhaustive list. There are many other books on the black experience in the west.

The earliest book that I’m aware of on this subject is from 1919 and a book on this subject was published in 2018. So we’re looking at a century of works about the black experience in the west.

Continue reading “From John Ware to the Compton Cowboys: 100 years of scholarship, writings, and re-contextualizing the black experience in the west”

“…the nightmare tales Woolrich wrote are thoroughly modern in one sense: they take place in a godless world where monstrous, irrational, barely comprehensible forces wreak violent havoc on the affairs of doomed innocents, who scatter like cockroaches in the night.”

From Richard Dooling’s introduction to Rendezvous in Black by Cornell Woolrich

James Lipton: You’ve described your mother as not liking you for quite protracted moments.“

Hugh Laurie: “Yes. I was a frustration to her.”

“Why”

“I don’t actually know. And perhaps I’ll never ever work it out. But I think there were big chunks of time when I think she, uh yeah, she didn’t like me. She didn’t like me.”

Inside the Actors Studio

“…it would seem that Wister’s personal values constantly interfered with his objective to describe the West and its people as they really were. Romance and marriage in his novels, as in some of his stories, serve only to emasculate his cowboys, to make them docile Easterners concerned more with personal ambition, accumulation of wealth, and achieving what by Eastern standards could only be considered social standing, rather than luxuriating in their freedom, the openness and emptiness of the land, and the West’s utter disregard for family background. To make his cowboy’s acceptable heroes to himself, as well as to his Eastern readers, Wister felt compelled to imbue them with his own distinctly patrician values. For this reason his stories cannot be said to depict truthfully the contrasts and real conflicts between the East and West of his time and Western readers of his stories have always tended to scoff at what he was presenting as the reality of Western life.
“Wister in his political philosophy was a progressive and what has come to be termed a social Darwinist….He believed in a natural aristocracy, a survival of the fittest – the fittest being those who measured up best to the elective affinities of his own value system. …Yet privately (and this is wht his journals are so illuminating), he lamented the sloth which he felt the West induced in people, and it was his ultimate rejection of the real West that brought about his disillusionment with it and his refusal, after 1911, ever to return there.”

Jon Tuska, Western Stories

“When it was over Morrasey stood panting, the heavy .45, still smoking, dangling carelessly in his hand. Well, he thought with a bleakness that was just bearable, that’s that. And then he waited for something to happen. He wasn’t sure what he expected, but for the past several hours, which had seemed like an eternity, the point to his whole existence, and the hope of rest for Delly, had been centered in the act of killing Omar Jessup.

But nothing changed. Jessup was dead, but so was Delly. And then, slowly but with a fearful thoroughness, it came to him. It was never going to change. No matter what he did, it was never going to change.”

Tragg’s Choice by Clifton Adams