Co-creator Lena Waithe knows the pressure is high for Boomerang.
The Chi mastermind‘s new series is a spinoff of the 1992 movie starring Eddie Murphy, Halle Berry, and Robin Givens, and is part of BET’s latest foray into scripted programming. But Waithe, 34, got Berry on board as an exec producer and is hopeful fans of the film—as well as new viewers—will embrace the show, which follows Murphy, Berry, and Givens’ characters’ kids (played by Tetona Jackson and Tequan Richmond) as they embark on their own careers in advertising.
Halle Berry and Eddie Murphy in 1992’s Boomerang.
Here — and in the current issue of EW — Waithe tells EW how the spinoff came about, how it will be different from the movie, and what she hopes to see remade in the future.
EW: What made you want to continue the world of Boomerang?
LENA WAITHE: I’m here to give you a rebirth—Halle Berry pushed me on that. She’s like, “Lena, we did the 1992 version of this movie where it’s, like, black people are getting mercy. It was me, it was Robin Givens, Eddie Murphy. We did that. You gotta do something new for your generation.” I want people to feel like this is the Atlanta version of Boomerang, on BET. That was how I pitched it. But then it evolved into something on its own. I think by the third episode, people are going to forget it was a movie.
EW: So in what ways did you push things to make them relevant to 2019?
WAITHE: This is a journey I’m taking the audience on with these six amazing, interesting, unique characters who are gonna put you on a beautiful ride about what it means to be young, gifted, and black—and exhausted from always trying to be perfect all the time. And we all have trauma from our parents that we can’t shake. That is our journey: to shake our trauma into fine art.
EW: Are you excited to be part of the age of reboots and remakes?
WAITHE: I’m remaking Boomerang, [LeBron James is] remaking House Party. We’re doing it because these things had such an effect on our spirits and our souls. Maybe somebody will wanna remake [Donald Glover’s] Atlanta, will wanna remake The Chi or something. You know, at the end of the day it’s like, we want our work to have that much impact. I want to do that for the next generation.
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