Kadeem Hardison Wants ‘A Different World’ Rights From Cosby To Reboot Iconic Series
“A Different World” alum Kadeem Hardison wants to get the rights to the iconic series he starred in, but everyone isn’t here for it.
In an era of reboots, why not a reimagining of the classic hit sitcom, “A Different World?”
In 1987, one of TV’s most influential shows premiered. “A Different World” was a spin-off from Bill Cosby’s popular sitcom “The Cosby Show” The show aired for seven seasons, from 1987 through 1993, and highlighted the lives and relationships of Black college students – something that had never been done before.
And, let’s face it, it was the driving force in many of us wanting to go to college.
The show put Black people on television being themselves unapologetically, while simultaneously influencing young, black students to attend college. The sitcom was set on the campus of the fictional historically black Hillman College.
Actor Kadeem Hardison played lead character Dwayne Wayne – who was known for his flip up eyeglasses/shades and his off-and-on relationship with Whitley Gilbert-Wayne (played by Jasmine Guy). That wedding scene with Byron getting left at the altar will FOREVER be iconic.
During an interview on the “Allison Interviews” podcast, Kadeem spilled some tea about a possible “Different World” reboot. Apparently, Kadeem has been trying to gain the rights to the series, but everyone isn’t here for a reboot.
”We have been trying to get the rights so we can reboot it for about ten or so years and the owners (Carsey-Werner in association with Bill Cosby) aren’t ready,” he shared.
”Everybody on the on-camera side is ready. They are thinking, ‘Yeah, they are rebooting everything. We should have some kind of version of it.’ It’s what I think the kids need today. It was good enough then. We won’t be able to catch that lighting in a bottle that we did then, but we definitely can reimagine the show in a way so that it is relevant, and it’s about the kids and school, and we can get that same fire lit under kids to inspire them to be something else.”
If they can reimage the series like Will Smith did with “Bel-Air,” then we could see the reboot taking off. The core storylines of the show are still relevant today.
Late rapper Tupac guest-starred on the show in 1993 and Kadeem revealed he was jealous. Pac’s guest role played Jada Pinkett-Smith’s love interest. It was the first time Tupac and Jada (who were friends) starred opposite of each other.
“It was fantastic. They had a seamless chemistry,” he said. “How do you direct De Niro and Pacino? You just kind of stand back and let them go. You hope that the cameras are in focus,” he explained. “I didn’t really have to tell him much. I didn’t have to tell her hardly anything. It was a joy to watch. It was probably the easiest directing job.”
After he “tweaked” the fight scene, everything fell into place.
”The fight scene we had to tweak a little bit. We had to work on it, because it was a fight between Jada’s character’s current boyfriend and Pac’s character. So, we had to spend some time working that out, but once I said ‘Action,’ it took on a life of its own. It felt like a real fight. It felt like a real brawl, and that was Pac. That was him going in, like, ‘I’m going to whoop this sucker.’ It was awesome to direct the two of them. They were good buds and I kept asking her, ‘Is he going to show up? Because I have lots of rapper friends and I knew that [being on] time is not their friend? She said, ‘Yes, he’s coming. He’s on his way.’”
“I always felt like I loved Tupac as a rapper, but I was jealous of him as an actor, because I just thought he had such range. He could touch places that I didn’t know if I could go. I just wanted to watch. But it wasn’t Macbeth, you know what I mean? He’s playing the neighborhood cat that comes in full of bravado to claim the girl he thinks is his. He was like, ‘Yeah, I can do that.’ (laugh). [Jada] was playing the girl who was trying to get away from that life. There were no real notes for them. There was no reason to say, ‘Hey try it like this.’ Everything they did was magic.”
And there you have it. We love a good behind-the-scenes story. You can watch the full interview below:
While it doesn’t seem like fans will get “A Different World” reboot anytime soon, would you be here for one if they were to get the greenlight?