Pop Culture, Race & Politics

8 Little Known Black Movie “Facts”

From wondering how different The Matrix would have been with Will Smith—the original choice for “Neo”—in it to reading up on the parallels between Coming to America and The Lion King (James Earl Jones and Madge Sinclair were the parents of the lead character in both movies), I’ve always been obsessed with finding trivia and other tidbits about particular movies. IMDB.com is a great source for this type of information. There, I found a few fun bits of trivia from our favorite movies that you may not have known.

1) Boomerang’s original script called for Marcus (Eddie Murphy) to lose both Jacqueline (Robin Givens) and Angela (Halle Berry).

Apparently, one of (director) Reginald Hudlin’s friends advised him that the movie ending with Eddie getting no girl would have upset the audience. And, if the hundreds of thousands of young Black men who wanted to be an “ad exec” after seeing this movie (and wanting Marcus Graham’s life) are any indication, he was definitely right.

2) The list of actresses and entertainers considered for the role of Shug Avery in The Color Purple reads like a “Who’s Who?” of early 80’s pop culture.

Tina Turner, Patti LaBelle, Phyllis Hyman, Lola Falana, Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, and Sheryl Lee Ralph all were considered for the role at one point. Basically, if you were a famous Black woman who happened to be in her mid 30’s to early 40’s and you weren’t considered for this role, you probably needed to fire your agent.

3) They apparently start very early in South Central. Like, very, very, very, very, very early.

This is the only way to explain the peculiar parent-child casting decisions in Boyz n The Hood. Although they were father and son in the movie, Laurence Fishburne is only six years older than Cuba Gooding Jr. Adding insult to very early parenthood is the fact that Tyra Ferrell is only seven years older than the actors who played her sons, Morris Chestnut and Ice Cube.

Read more at EBONY.com

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • She Who Reads

    And look at Mary J. Blige playing Q-Tip’s mother in Prison Song. Never forget.

  • Animate

    I’m a fan of unhappy realistic endings. So that Boomerang ending would have been great to me.

    • Melissa M


  • chameleonic

    soul food is such an awesome movie. its my go to when i wanna feel i have a home. its so full of love and just feel good moments and vivica and her hubby are so natural and beautiful. that is a REALLY dope film.

    i remember nia long in the fresh prince and i swear she was like — they really seemed in love. such a genuine, witty, and even educational show that was. i remember tyra banks in it and vivica in independence day, but not in fresh prince or vanessa williams.

  • PoetrysTruth

    I remember V. Williams in fresh prince she played a pregnant lady and Tyra played a b-ball player from Will’s home town that ended up going to his college.

  • Cali

    #5 makes me wanna re-watch that scene in “He Got Game”, however bleeding GREEN like I do, I simply cannot lay eyes on Judas Shuttlesworth for any reason. He is dead to me… DEAD… even on celluloid, playing a character…


    • AYFKM

      LOL! @ Judas Shuttleworth!

  • kid video

    Diana Ross was damn near 40 when she played Dorothy in The Wiz…

More Like This