Trevor Jackson in SuperFly
via Sony Pictures

One of the most anticipated movies of the summer is the Director X’s remake of the classic 1970’s blaxploitation film, Superfly, starring the immensely talented Trevor Jackson (Grown-ish) as Youngblood Priest. An array of gifted actors fill the cast alongside the young star, who leads with a praise-worthy performance that pays homage to the original. We recently had a chance to chat with Jackson at the film’s press event, where he discussed his new movie and growing up learning Capoeira martial arts.

Although actor Ron O’Neal, who played Priest in the 1970’s version, helped develop the movie into an iconic production, Trevor sought to make the character his own in the remake. “I was familiar with it [Superfly] as to what it meant to us as a people, but I definitely had to go back and watch again,” he said about needing to refresh his memory on the film. “But even when I went back and watched it, I didn’t watch the whole thing because I didn’t want to try and redo anything Ron O’Neal did. I think he’s a legend and I always wanted to keep that untouched and just try to go my own way with it. I refreshed myself in terms of what it was about and what his journey was, but I didn’t want to do so much of the character like he did.”

Superfly delivers a retro vibe enhanced with a new wave for the current generation. The flick doesn’t fall short in intense action and slick fight sequences. Priest delivers clean karate moves that make him look like a master martial artist. The 21-year old actor confessed that, while he received about two weeks of training for the film’s entertaining fight scenes, he actually trained in an exotic fighting style growing up. “I’ve been in martial arts since I was 11-years old. I trained in Capoeira, which is African-Brazilian martial arts. Quick synopsis on that, African slaves brought to Brazil –– they wanted to overrun the slave master, they wanted to retaliate, but they weren’t allowed to practice any martial arts or train, so they disguise it as a dance so every time [slave masters] looked, they thought, ‘Oh, they’re just dancing,’ but really there were moves within the dance.”

With a powerful Future-produced soundtrack, Superfly is already getting off to a successful start. The project’s stellar cast perfectly redefines what it means to be super fly in 2018. With all of the buzz surrounding this movie, you’re not going to want to miss it.

Superfly hits theaters June 13. Watch the official trailer below.