Beyond The Headlines: Moments That Matter
Watch the episode above for Ikorodu Bois’ meaningful conversation with Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase on their global success and what the power of positivity can achieve.
Every new month in 2020 is met with anticipation and anxiety of what terrifying news will spread all over the world next with viral fever. Luckily, towards the end of June 2020, we were met with a good kind of viral news – this time originating in Ikorodu, in the beautiful country of Nigeria. The viral news in this case is the remake of Chris Hemsworth’s movie Extraction’s trailer created by an online comedy group known as the Ikorodu Bois. This group is made up of four filmmakers – a team of brothers and cousins, Babatunde (23), Muiz (15), Fawas (13) and Malik (10).
Extraction is an action thriller film starring Chris Hemsworth, which has become the most-watched Netflix film ever. The film was directed by first-time director Sam Hargrave and written by the trio of Ande Parks, Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. The Ikorodu Bois craftily remade the popular film’s trailer and posted it on Twitter and Instagram. The remake makes smart use of props and sets in order to reimagine a multi-million-dollar film with next to no budget. For example, a scene of Chris Hemsworth diving a dozen stories off a cliff into a river is recreated by simply dropping a rock into a bucket of water. Whereas Hargrave’s film uses sports cars for fast-paced chase sequences, the Ikorodu Bois instead make do with a simple wheelbarrow. They have a real talent for the creative use of props, being able to mimic big-budget films using only household items. This ingenuity, combined with the skillful editing of the eldest member Babatunde Sanni, makes for very entertaining and effective videos.
Ikorodu Bois’ Own Words on their Global fame and Success
Hollywood Insider spoke to the Extraction team on the Ikorodu Bois’ talent and creativity. The Ikorodu Bois also made an appearance on the show Beyond The Headlines: Moments that Matter and engaged in a meaningful conversation on their journey with Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase. During the show, Ambroase remarked that ‘talent and creativity are borderless’ while praising the Ikorodu Bois and their success. When asked about the massive popularity of their remake and the positive reaction from the Extraction team, the Bois told Ambroase, “It’s a wonderful thing. The fact that our videos are going around the world and getting recognition. We are just so happy because this is what we’ve been waiting for and we’ve been hoping for over the years. It is a big thing for us to see big celebrities and people like you coming to us to share our story. We feel happy! We are so excited! We had to keep checking their tweet to see if it was real.”
The remake has spread all over the world with the Twitter post receiving over 11.1 million views at last count, nearly 41 thousand retweets and the Instagram post receiving more than 1.2 million views. Add to that Chris Hemsworth’s reshare of the video which has received over 16.7 million views. About three hours after the remake was posted on Twitter, Netflix’s official account responded to the post, commenting “LOVE THIS.” The admiration continued throughout the day, as Chris Hemsworth himself reshared the video and commented “huge shout out to these amazing young film makers @ikorodu_bois for recreating @extraction trailer shot for shot! I think your version might be better than the original !! @netflixfilm.”
When Ambroase asked if the Ikorodu Bois had a message for Chris Hemsworth, they replied, “We just want to tell him we love him and we appreciate the fact that he saw our video and he actually spread our video by posting it and sharing it. This is a big motivation for us and this would be one of the reasons why we can’t stop what we are doing. It motivates us.”
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The Russo Brothers & Sam Hargrave on the Ikorodu Bois talent
What’s more, the Russo Brothers acknowledged the Ikorodu Bois by retweeting the remake, but they also went the extra mile by inviting the group to the premiere of Extraction 2. The brothers commented, “This is awesome! We would love to have you guys at the #Extraction 2 premiere…DM us and we’ll get you there!”
In an interview with Hollywood Insider, the Russo Brothers discussed the Ikorodu Bois and their belief in nurturing young talent while speaking on what stood out to them about the trailer’s recreation. They explained, “These are the future storytellers. They are us when we were kids, with dreams of making movies and telling stories to the world. They are so talented, clever and driven. They have all the key elements to live out their dreams one day.”
Being the ever-positive filmmaking duo they are, the Russos went even further, stating, “Their video is clever, witty, and inventive. Their camera angles are perfect, and their performances are spot on. They are having fun with their talent, while also paying homage to the things they love. It reminds us greatly of our own sensibilities.”
Hollywood Insider also spoke to the director of Extraction, Sam Hargrave, on seeing his work imitated by the young aspiring filmmakers, Hargrave explained, “Ikorodu Bois have a future as a filmmaker, as an artist. I think what I most admire is the fearlessness. To put the work out there, unabashedly, and say, this is me as an artist. The boldness is key. Not to mention the creativity and resourcefulness. When this video first came to me I was blown away. It made my day. They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery…I’m honored these super talented, creative young filmmakers would take the time to recreate the trailer for our film.”
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During the course of the show, Ambroase commented on the huge gift and questioned the Ikorodu Bois on their reaction to Russo Brothers’ generous invitation to the premiere of Extraction’s sequel, to which they replied, “Oh my God! Dream come true. We want to use this medium to appreciate the Russo brothers for inviting us. We are so happy and we’d love for you to pass this message to the Russo brothers that they are such big inspirations for us as future filmmakers. They inspire us, The Avengers and all the great movies by the Russo brothers, we’ve watched every and all of these movies on Netflix. So we just wanted to tell the Russo brothers that they are a big inspiration for us. And I think today is one of the Russo brothers’ birthdays, I saw something online early this morning. If it is right, we are sending a lot of love and light to them. Happy birthday! Long life and prosperity to them.”
When the Russo Brothers were asked to elaborate on their decision to invite the Ikorodu Bois to the premiere of Extraction 2, the Russos explained, “We applaud them for their creativity. We want to help them with access and realizing their potential – anything we can do to draw attention to them.” Discussing other sources of support for the Bois, they said, “We hear RED camera is gifting them a camera package for their future projects.” The Russo Brothers are the duo that previously directed Hemsworth as Thor in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame,
Sam Hargrave: “I also think it is important to give back.”
Discussing the Russo Brothers extending an invitation to Extraction 2’s premiere, Hargrave said, “I also think it is important to give back. None of us get to where we want to go only on our own – just as I have been helped, I want to help others in this business. I love that the Russo’s invited them to the premiere of Extraction 2. Such a kind, classy thing to do. I just imagine being a young filmmaker and getting that opportunity. How amazing and inspiring that will be for them. Bravo Joe and Anthony. Bravo.”
Hargrave went on to express further amazement at the Ikorodu Bois’ resourcefulness and creativity, recreating a big-budget movie using everyday tools. Hargrave said, “The level of creativity is insane. I love the mindset of using whatever is at hand to create art. And they did that in spades. These kids have a very bright future. The wheelbarrow as a car? Genius. Their recreation of the action scenes, so amazing. The lego helicopter, using fishing wire to flip the toy police car, the cardboard title cards…come on! Brilliant!”
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Shortly after the remake went viral, Rihanna started following the Ikorodu Bois on Instagram. Speaking about this experience, the Bois told Ambroase, “When our fans said that she followed us, we didn’t believe it, we had to check ourselves. We were happy, Rihanna, we love you!’” When asked what the Bois’ favorite Rihanna song is, they answered that “Diamonds” is their favorite, and Pritan Ambroase pointed out that the Ikorodu Bois are now shining brighter than diamonds themselves.
— Netflix (@netflix) June 24, 2020
Like the Russo Bros, Sam Hargrave also sees the value in supporting young filmmakers and helping them to break into the entertainment industry. He told Hollywood Insider, “Nurturing young talent is important because they are the future of the arts. Without their voice, there is no “next wave” of artists and storytellers. They are it.”
Pritan Ambroase & Ikorodu Bois on Rebranding Africa and highlighting the continent’s prosperity
Ambroase spoke to the young group about the much-needed rebranding of Africa and its many nations as the continent is prosperous unlike “fake charity-marketing-centric western perspective” which shows a suffering continent. Ambroase asked the Ikorodu Bois to tell the world about Nigeria in order to break negative stereotypes and they replied with a beaming smile, “Nigeria is actually a very great country. We have a lot of multi-talented people. The fact that we are so privileged to get our work to people internationally is just God’s grace, with the help of social media. I think there are a lot of talents here in Nigeria, but the exposure is what we don’t have. This is why we tell people that no talent should be buried, no talent should be overlooked. Nigeria is a great country, we have a lot of kids that have a bunch of talents. People are innovative.” With a nod to tourism, Ambroase asked them to tell the viewers about the two top places to visit while in Nigeria and they recommended “Lagos and Abuja.”
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Hargrave went on to affirm that technology and social media are an amazing tool for aspiring filmmakers to gain recognition. He stated, “This work of Ikorodu Bois that the world is seeing and celebrating is a great reminder that talent and ambition are borderless. And limitless. One of the beauties of this age of information and connectivity is the chance we have to discover such talent so that the rest of the world can experience and be moved by the artistic endeavors of young men and women across the globe.”
The much-needed Black Lives Matter movement
Ambroase touched upon the important and much-need Black Lives Matter movement and his personal involvement in it. When the group were asked their perspective on the global movement, they responded with equal zeal while commenting, “We actually did a video just to join the protests, to use our platform to enlighten the world about Black Lives Matter. To tell the world that for all lives to matter, Black lives must matter as well. All around the world we should stop police brutality as well. Black Lives Matter. Say no to racism. Irrespective of our color, we are all the same, we should love ourselves regardless. We are one with unity, peace and love. The world will keep moving forward. Black Lives Matter.”
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When asked who their favorite American movie actors were, each of them had a different answer. Malik and Muiz’s favorite Hollywood actor is Will Smith, while Fawas chose Martin Lawrence. Babatunde chose Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. As for actresses, Muiz and Malik’s favorite is Queen Latifah, while Fawas likes Úrsula Corberó from the Spanish heist show Money Heist. Babatunde’s favorite actress is Jada Pinkett-Smith.
Their admiration and love for Will Smith
Will Smith had praised the group’s recreation of a trailer for his film Bad Boys For Life. Other legends of entertainment, such as NBA star LeBron James and rapper Roddy Ricch, have shown their support by sharing the Ikorodu Bois’ videos via social media. They currently have more than 830,000 followers on Instagram and almost 122,000 followers on Twitter.
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[Swipe>>] May God grant us peace throughout the world 🙏🏽✊🏾❤️ ➖➖➖ #SayNoToPoliceBrutality #Blacklivesmatter #justiceforgeorgefloyd #Saynotorape #Saynotoracism #justicefortina #Justiceforuwa #Justiceforjennifer #Justiceforbarakat #saynotoinjustice ➖➖➖ ➖ ➖➖➖🎥: @this_lsb ➖ ➖ ➖➖➖ Original video: they Don’t care about us by @michaeljackson
Towards the end of the episode with the Ikorodu Bois, Ambroase had a chance to speak briefly with their dad. When asked about his children’s’ success, their father responded, “I’m so glad! In fact I don’t know how they’ve come to this, but glory be to God! Anything someone knows how to do, they’re supposed to do it correctly, and we’re supposed to support them to our last breath. So, I’m very excited.”
The Ikorodu Bois recreate famous videos regularly, such as Michael Jackson’s They Don’t Care About Us music video and a memorial video dedicated to NBA legend Kobe Bryant. When asked about their next movie trailer remake, they explained, “We’re still researching, we’re still working on another big movie.”
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Ikorodu Bois’ personal message for Will Smith
Ambroase enquired if he could personally help transfer their message to any of their favorite stars, and the Ikorodu Bois responded quickly with a shout-out to one of their biggest inspirations, Will Smith. The oldest brother, Babatunde, said, “We want to tell him he’s a big motivation and inspiration for us, too. I’ve personally been watching Will Smith movies ever since my childhood, and I’m still seeing Will Smith. I’d love to work with him some day, this is the dream. Our message to Will Smith: We love you, and we appreciate how much you’ve inspired us to become what we are. We, as upcoming filmmakers and upcoming actors as well, we really really love how he has created this path for us to focus and be actors and filmmakers as well. We really really love and appreciate him so much, and we are sending our love to him and everyone. His family, Willow Smith, Will Smith, Jada and Jaden as well. We love every one of them, I would love to meet them some day.”
The recognition given to the Ikorodu Bois’ recreation of the Extraction trailer by Netflix, Chris Hemsworth, Russo Brothers and Sam Hargrave should serve as an inspiration to many aspiring filmmakers. By inviting the comedy crew to the premiere of Extraction 2, the Russos have validated and acknowledged their passion for entertainment and provided much-needed access. Hopefully, this opportunity will lead to further success for the Ikorodu Bois, whose unique beginnings may serve as a gateway to a big future in the entertainment industry. Hollywood Insider eagerly looks forward to seeing what else the young Nigerian team has planned for the future as well as all other talented people across all borders as we ask them to dream big and take action.
We will continue to support the Ikorodu Bois and the generously supportive team of Extraction while wishing them the best of luck for Extraction 2 which has been further elevated as the first installment has become the most-watched Netflix film ever. Kudos to Chris, Sam and the Russos!
Click here to read Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Black Lives Matter, in which he tackles more than just police reform, press freedom and more – click here.
An excerpt from the love letter: Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “Hollywood Insider fully supports the much-needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally a part of this global movement. We will continue reporting on this major issue of police brutality and legal murders of Black people to hold the system accountable. We will continue reporting on this major issue with kindness and respect to all Black people, as each and every one of them are seen and heard. Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is about more than just police brutality and extends into banking, housing, education, medical, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all your stories. We believe in peaceful/non-violent protests and I would like to request the rest of media to focus on 95% of the protests that are peaceful and working effectively with positive changes happening daily. Media has a responsibility to better the world and Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.”
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