Will Smith is digging into his creative bag again, and this time, he’s marrying his music with film. Before pursuing big Hollywood dreams, Smith had a hip-hop career as one-half of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. The duo dropped hits such as “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” “A Nightmare on My Street,” and “Summertime.” The latter became a classic, and now Smith plans to turn it into a film.
Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff’s ‘Summertime’ heading to the big screen
Take it back to 1991 when “Summertime” hit the airwaves. The song ruled Philadelphia area radio stations as Smith was a hometown hero, and then the video took over on TV. According to Deadline, Westbrook Studios is teaming up with Davis Entertainment to develop a musical film based on “Summertime.”
Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Ko Yada, and Miguel Melendez co-own Westbrook Studios. Smith is attached to the project as a producer with Peter Saji on deck to pen the script and direct. For those wondering how a song can transform into a feature film, it’s been done before. While Deadline notes that a plot for “Summertime” is yet to be fleshed out, others have succeeded.
The Beatles did it with Yellow Submarine, and who can forget Cheech and Chong’s parody song, “Born in East L.A.?” Both spawned their own movies.
‘Summertime’ was a major hit for the Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff
When “Summertime” came out in 1991, Smith and Jazzy Jeff started a trend with the Speed Racer tee and kickback vibes. 30 years after its release, the track is still an anthem for the season and is played at gatherings, restaurants, and in one’s speakers.
The tune — which famously samples Kool & the Gang — earned the duo their second Grammy Award. They won their first in 1989 for “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” Additionally, it landed on the Billboard Hot 100 charts at number 4. Occasionally, fans can still catch Smith and Jazzy Jeff doing live performances of “Summertime” and a few of their other classics like “Brand New Funk.”
Ideas for the ‘Summertime’ film can move backward in time or stay in the present
Based on where and when Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince shot the music video, Smith and his team could easily set the movie up as a ‘90s-themed summer adventure in Philly. Locals may recall how he mentioned the Plateau in the song’s lyrics, which was a hot hangout spot during that time. Cars drove through, lined up, and guys and girls checked each other out. And it all happened at the park.
Nicknamed “the Plat,” Belmont Plateau sits in Fairmount Park. It’s a place where people have barbecues, play games — and as Smith rapped — have family reunions. The film could easily be a love story, coming of age tale, or family dramedy. It’s too early to tell if Smith and Jazzy Jeff plan to link up to create a nostalgia-laced or modern-day soundtrack for the project. But with “Summertime” as its anthem and backdrop, it more than likely will have a happy ending.
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