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By Afiya J Watkins
Spike Lee’s classic black college film School Daze turned 25-years-old in 2013.
Given that anniversary which has now passed, many fans still wonder if there is a chance Lee might release a sequel to the classic film. There has been talk of this in the past, but no confirmation of a follow up until now. Reportedly, Spike Lee confirmed that a script has been completed recently.
“I had the script for ‘School Daze,’” said Lee. “But, what people have to understand is that it’s a contemporary version. So it’s the same school, Mission College, 25 years later,” explains Lee. “Hopefully I can get Laurence Fishburne to play Dap. He’ll be the president now of the school. And we would deal with issues around Historically Black Colleges today.”
The original School Daze was released on February 12, 1988 by Columbia Pictures and was written and directed by Lee. At the time, it was only his second feature film. The controversial musical-drama quickly received critical acclaim and starred notable up and coming talents Laurence Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, and Tisha Campbell-Martin. School Daze was partly based on Spike Lee’s experiences at Atlanta’s Morehouse College, Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University. The film focused primarily on fraternity and sorority life with members clashing frequently with other students at a historically black college during homecoming weekend. It also touched heavily upon issues of real and perceived racism related to skin tone bias and hair quality within the African-American community. For this reason, critics and audiences found it to be a poignant and gutsy piece that was both overdue and ahead of its time.
Lee, never one to shy away from controversial subject matter, said the sequel will delve into many of the same issues that students faced in the late ‘80s, while taking on new subjects such as the pledging process and homophobia at historically black colleges.
It will be interesting to see how the film is received. Some are of the belief that classic films should not be remade or sequeled. There is a school of thought that maintains well enough should be left alone and attempts to expound upon what was will only cheapen the brand. For others, the prospect of remaking popular movies is both exciting and welcomed news. Regardless of which side of the fence you stand on with this topic, I think most would agree that School Daze is one of those enduring films that leave you pondering what might have become of the school and students years later. If Lee has his way, we may all know soon enough.