Actress Nia Long Not Interested In Doing Love Jones Sequel With Larenz Tate

Nia Long is everywhere right now. The beloved actress is experiencing a career-high on the tail end of some lows in her personal life. While out promoting several projects, the topic of classic properties like Love Jones has continued to come up. Despite The Best Man becoming a powerful franchise, Nia shoots down any ideas that Love Jones could get the same treatment. 

Released in the spring of 1997, Love Jones is a romantic comedy/drama directed by Theodore Witcher in his big screen debut. It stars Larenz Tate, Nia Long, Isaiah Washington, Bill Bellamy, and Lisa Nicole Carson. The film follows a Chicago poet named Darius Lovehall and a photographer named Nina Mosely. The pair fall in love over a series of run-ins, and the film follows their journey through romance. The movie was aimed at creating a modern black film not centered around violence or drugs as elements of the story. 

The movie was applauded by some critics for its bittersweet ending, but upon its release, it was not an immediate hit. Despite being one of the few depictions of black love on the silver screen around the time it came out, audiences did not rush out to watch it. Instead, the movie began to gain a small cult following on VHS release that swelled over the years. The cast got back together n 2017 to celebrate the film’s 20th anniversary and discuss how its legacy has endured over the years. 

Speaking on her and Larenz’s incredible chemistry, Nia Long said, “I honestly felt like our chemistry was the best. It felt amazing, and it felt right, and we looked good together, and it looked believable.” She went on to say that the focus of the film was just to show a love story. “It wasn’t meant to be any more than a story about two black people falling in love.” 

The film was not a complete failure as executive producer Helana Echegoyen explained. “It costs $7 million, and it makes $13 million (over its theatrical run), and you’re still talking about it 20 years later, then I would say that it, by now, has certainly recouped its expense.” It’s had such an enduring legacy that when Nia Long separated from her longtime fiance late last year, fans speculated that she’d finally started dating Larenz Tate. However, Tate is happily married. 

Nia Long just wrapped up the Best Man franchise. Released a few years after Love Jones, the movie scored a follow up sequel and series. When asked if Love Jones could have the same longevity, Long expressed her doubts. While she enjoyed the process of making it and believes it is “special” and “timeless,” Nia long remembers the movie flopping and nobody coming out to see it. Its cult classic status has been a welcomed reward in the long run and has solidified that the movie is perfect as is and needs no revisiting. 

Long said, “It’s like a cult classic. And so some things get sweeter with time. And so I would say Love Jones is one of those things. And I would just never, never touch it.”

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