- Nigerian classic films from the early nineties have been reemerging with colorful facelifts.
- One Nigerian brand is at the forefront of some of these remakes.
- With a list of remakes, biopics, and originals, Play-network has kept African film lovers curious.
Charles Okpaleke’s Play-network studios in Nigeria has acquired the rights to yet another Nollywood classic, Karishika, adding to its long list of Nollywood remakes and sequels. The media and hospitality entrepreneur confirmed the procurement of 1996 Nollywood classic ‘Karishika’ and went on to invite skilled horror filmmakers to get aboard the project.
On one of his social media pages Okpaleke said, “I’m putting together a team of horror film makers. Kindly recommend a Director, DOP, team of script writers etc, with relevant skills that I can work with. I acquired IP rights to Karishika and I wish to work with creatives specialized in horror films.” ‘Karashika’ is a classic Nollywood horror movie dwelling on witchcraft, temptations and its punishments. The classic hit warmed its way into people’s hearts with stars like Becky Okorie featuring in it; it was directed by Christian Onu.
In addition to the horror classic, the company had also announced that a new movie, in collaboration with Ramsey Nouah, titled ‘Igbo Landing’ will be out in coming months. Sharing the news on social media, the CEO wrote, “Play Network Studios and Ramsey Films will be embarking on another epoch-making journey down history lane”.
The history of the Igbos, from Eastern Nigeria, will be incomplete without mentioning the tragic story of the mass suicide in 1803 when about 75 Igbo people who felt they had taken too much from the slavers who took them on a torturous three-month journey from West Africa to St. Simons Island. They thought drowning themselves along with their captors in the sea, rather than living as slaves, was a better option. This singular act has made the Igbo Landing, according to many, the first major freedom march in America’s history.
With ‘Igbo Landing’ premiering in 2025, the company has commenced casting for ‘Hijack 93’. The forthcoming film is based on a true-life story about four Nigerian teenagers who hijacked a plane to protest the annulment of the 1993 presidential elections. The historic October 25, 1993, event, involved Richard Ogunderu, Kabir Adenuga, Benneth Oluwadaisi and Kenny Rasaq-Lawal taking over a Nigerian Airways plane enroute Abuja from Lagos forcing its pilots to land in Niger republic. Their audacious move was an attempt to force the government to hand over power to MKO Abiola.
In the past 3 years, Play-network studios has continued to create and successfully market some of the Nigeria’s biggest remakes; From living in Bondage, Aki and Pawpaw, Nneka the pretty serpent, to Glamour girls amongst others. Many fans are certainly looking forward to seeing more reboots especially the six titles the studios has planned between 2023/2024 including one classic remake, a sequel, two biopics and original stories – Diamond Ring (Remake), Glamour Girls (Sequel), King Jaja of Opobo, Shina Rambo, The Six, and Hijack 93.
‘Hijack 93,’ stands prominent on the list of new films from the company, followed by the company’s first original creation ‘The Six’ whispered to be a continuation of the story of Richard Williams, played by Ramsey Nouah, the weird, charismatic leader of a cult. The studio also acquired full rights to remake the 1998 classic thriller ‘Diamond Ring’, directed by Tade Ogidan, which tells the tale of a talented freshman at the university who goes on to join the wrong association and is enticed into stealing a dead woman’s diamond ring. Awful aftermaths followed shortly after the stealing. Teju Babyface debuted in a leading role and was supported by Sola Sobowale, Richard Mofe Damijo, Liz Benson, Bukky Ajayi and Bimbo Akintola.
Jaja of Opobo and Shina Rambo inspired two biopics, and they are followed by the sequel of the ‘Glamour Girls’.