Prolific producer Charles Okpaleke has been about Nollywood dominion. After the well-received sequel of occult horror Living in Bondage in 2019, Okpaleke announced that he had acquired the rights to remake another classic title – Glamour Girls, a 1994 women-led drama written and produced by Kenneth Nnebue.
Other films in the pipeline would soon become pubic knowledge, like a remake/reboot of Zeb Ejiro’s Nneka the Pretty Serpent, which indicated that Okpaleke was being deliberate about remaking Nollywood’s golden age movies, showing them anew with lots of pomp and style. It’s too early to say if the producer has been successful in this treatment, considering the mixed reactions towards the Idia Aisien-led Pretty Serpent, which was her first stab at a Nollywood role.
Of all the projects, Glamour Girls appears to be the current buzz as it’s been revealed that Abimbola Craig will helm the film as a producer. Craig first cut her teeth on Ndani TV’s wildly beloved comedy web series Skinny Girl In Transit in 2015, playing a lead role. She then dabbled into filmmaking, co-producing the Jade Osiberu comedy drama Sugar Rush in 2019 and returning to Ndani TV to make their latest original Game On.
Glamour Girls is Craig’s first huge project as a solitary producer, but the news doesn’t stop there. Craig will be joined by another woman who will direct the film, and another woman to write the screenplay.
What makes this news exciting is that it’s coinciding with this year’s Women History Month. Perfect timing. But it also flips the hegemony within the film industry, where men have too much attachment to the filmmaking process, from scripting, producing, directing and in other departments. Not that women haven’t occupied these roles, but Glamour Girls is giving women more access and opportunities. Besides, Nollywood is still grounded in a patriarchal power imbalance that affects women in the industry, from sexual harassment, exploitation, sexism, even to the misogynistic way women are portrayed in films.
While Nneka the Pretty Serpent, released last December, seemed like the kind of film that should have had a trio of women making it, Glamour Girls presents another an excellent opportunity to do so. The 90’s original starred Liz Benson, Ngozi Ezeonu, Eucharia Anuobi, Pat Attah, Ernest Obi, and Zack Orji, and explored themes like women and materialism with a dollop of sex and nudity.
There’s no rule that Craig or her yet-to-be-named company of female director and screenwriter must be entirely faithful to the source material. There can be a few tweaks here and there, to align with the times, but it’s also wonderful that these women are going to be in control of the narrative.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies and reading comics and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.