Inside the year’s unlikeliest remake
How a family of teenage boys from Lagos recreated the trailer — and won the support of Hollywood Extraction
THERE’S A CHANCE that you’ve caught a trailer that looks almost identical to that of the Netflix action thriller Extraction. Recreating the original trailer shot for shot, it includes the same punches thrown and the actors standing on the same marks. But there are subtle differences. A large puddle substitutes a wide shot of Dhaka. A drink-can simulates a sniper scope. The film’s speeding cars are rendered by wheelbarrows.
This meticulous remake comes courtesy of the ‘Ikorodu Bois’, a group of Nigerian brothers and cousins who have quickly risen to fame as Hollywood’s favourite lowbudget mimickers. “I draw my creativity from the environment around me,” says oldest brother Babatunde (23), who spent a month directing Muiz (15), Malik (10) and cousin Fawis (13) while remaking the Extraction trailer (a film they describe as “top-notch”). There is no secret to their ingenuity — just hard work. “We are not professional,” Babatunde admits. “We shoot the scene. Then tomorrow we shoot the scene again. We just keep doing it.”
The man behind the real thing, Extraction’s director Sam Hargrave, is nothing but flattered. “I was blown away. It made my day,” Hargrave tells
Empire. “I’m honoured these super-talented, creative young filmmakers would take the time to recreate the trailer for our film. The Lego helicopter? Using fishing wire to flip the toy police car? Come on! Brilliant!”
Famous fans have lined up to praise the Bois, with tweets from Dwayne Johnson, Will Smith, and Extraction producers Joe and Anthony Russo — who invited the family to the premiere of Extraction 2, when it eventually arrives.
“I was about to cry when I saw that tweet,” Babatunde remembers. “Everyone was jumping around, even our mum and dad. It felt like nothing was impossible.” They are stunned into silence when Empire reads Hargrave’s reaction to them. Babatunde says, “To hear that he appreciates our creativity… I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight.”
With luck, these videos are just the start, though. “We hope that with the support of the people in the industry, we can become professional filmmakers,” says Babatunde. “This is something that we’ve been waiting for all of our lives.” If Netflix needs someone to helm Extraction 3, we know just the guys.