I recently spoke with Robert Townsend about the Criterion release of his directorial debut, “Hollywood Shuffle.” As an unspoken fan of “B.A.P.S.” though, I had to ask the filmmaker about the latter’s chances of getting the Criterion treatment as well. Townsend is definitely open to the idea — and even more impressed by the enduring power of the film. “It’s so funny because people want a sequel to that,” Townsend revealed. But with the recent passing of Natalie Desselle-Reid, who died in 2020 after dealing with colon cancer, returning to the world of “B.A.P.S.” doesn’t hold much interest to the director.
That hasn’t stopped a few big names from hatching ideas about a remake: apparently “everybody from Megan Thee Stallion to Cardi B” has asked Townsend for his blessing. Though he didn’t reveal whether a reboot is in the works, Townsend seems content with the story as is, and a lot of fans — this writer included — tend to agree. As much as “B.A.P.S.” deserves a second chance, a reboot may not be the solution. Not unlike “Hollywood Shuffle,” “B.A.P.S.” still majorly holds up today. Even Townsend stands by the humor and heart that Halle Berry, Desselle, and screenwriter Troy Beyer brought to the film. If anything, “B.A.P.S.” should be revisited on its own merits, not through the lens of an updated story. I’m not saying it needs a Criterion Collection rerelease to make that happen … but it can’t exactly hurt, can it?