Back to IndieWire

The Thing To Keep In Mind When You See “Tower Heist” This Weekend…

The Thing To Keep In Mind When You See “Tower Heist” This Weekend…

No doubt many of you are going to see Tower Heist this weekend; but as you watch it, there’s something I think that you should keep in mind. No, not that the film totally defies logic and the rules of gravity (You’ll know what I mean when you see it); But the fact that the project was originally conceived as a black film.

The premise for the film was thought up by Eddie Murphy a few years ago, who brought the project to producer Brian Glazer and Imagine Entertainment, with the intent being to do a “black Ocean’s Eleven,” and they started throwing around ideas about who to co-star with Murphy – people such as Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx, Dave Chappelle and Chris Tucker.

However the idea of having a cast of black comedians was quickly dropped during development. According to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, “The filmmakers say it wasn’t Murphy’s recent flops that prompted the change, but rather a desire for authenticity. A modern apartment building would have a racially diverse staff”. So instead of a film with every popular black comedian in it. The film now has just Murphy, Gabourey Sidibe and character- and Tony-nominated stage actor Stephen Henderson, as the only black people in the film.

Not exactly a fair trade.

Gee ya think the real reason was because Universal and Imagine Entertainment didn’t want to spend $85 million on a film with a mainly black cast? What do you think?

This Article is related to: Features and tagged