'Little' is Larger Than Life
Girls Trip’s Regina Hall and Black-ish’s Marsai Martin both star as Jordan Sanders — Hall as the take-no-prisoners tech mogul adult version of Jordan and Martin as the 13-year-old version of her who wakes up in her adult self’s penthouse just before a do-or-die presentation.
Insecure’s Issa Rae plays Jordan’s long-suffering assistant April, the only one in on the secret that her daily tormentor is now trapped in an awkward tween body just as everything is on the line. Little is an irreverent new comedy about the price of success, the power of sisterhood and having a second chance to grow up — and glow up — right.
Will Packer, blockbuster producer of Girls Trip, the Ride Along franchise, and ten movies that have opened No. 1 at the U.S. box office, including Night School, No Good Deed and Think Like a Man, brings an all-new perspective to the body-swap comedy.
Little is directed by Tina Gordon (writer, Drumline) with a story by Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip) and a screenplay by Oliver and Gordon, based on an idea by teen actress Martin. The film is produced by Packer and his producing partner James Lopez and by Kenya Barris (Girls Trip, Black-ish), and is executive produced by Preston Holmes (Night School), Hall, Marsai Martin, and Josh Martin.
The idea of black girl magic is both literal and metaphorical in Little, and the concept eventually expanded to every area of the film’s production.
On a narrative level, it is literal black girl magic that transforms Jordan Sanders into her 13-year-old self. Early in the film, Jordan is terrorizing her employees and being brutally rude to April in front of Stevie (Marley Taylor), a little girl whose father runs a donut truck outside Jordan’s company, JSI.
April has always been kind to Stevie, and Stevie comes to April’s defense. Stevie confronts Jordan, and when Jordan refuses to apologize, Stevie waves a magic plastic wand at Jordan and makes a wish that Jordan becomes little again. The next morning, Jordan wakes up in her 13-year-old body.
“I don’t like little Stevie,” Regina Hall jokes. “She may be awfully cute and magical with her little plastic wand, but she actually makes Jordan little. That actually ends up being kind of a blessing in disguise because it changes the course of Jordan’s life. That little Stevie.”
In a broader sense, though, black girl magic refers to Marsai Martin herself, who conceived the film in the first place. So, the filmmakers seized the opportunity to hire as many black women as they could for as many areas of production as they could, celebrating their talents, brilliance, and creativity. “The first bit of black girl magic was Marsai pitching the film to Universal,” Gordon says. “That would be a miraculous thing for an adult to do, so for a child to do it, it’s quite the magic trick. So I started thinking about the black women all over that are doing these small and giant miracles every day. I wanted to add women behind the scenes, artists, and women of the world to the production to contribute their black girl magic every day.”
Not only is the cast led by three extraordinary black women, but Gordon and Tracy Oliver are black women, and black women were responsible for much of what audiences will see on screen.
“There are a lot of amazing women who are a part of this project,” Hall says. “Tina is so amazing. Marsai is obviously magical, and Issa is incredible. We used amazing black artists, designers, wardrobe, hair and makeup artists. I mean, there are just so many phenomenal women on this film. It’s been wonderful to wear clothes from black designers and to be able to support one another in such an incredible way.”
“The black girl magic came strong with this one,” Rae says. “I think Will had a vision. He’s been great about championing women and girls, and this movie, in particular, is such a women-heavy story line, both in front of and behind the camera. With Tina directing, Marsai pitching the film, and me and Regina involved, we all worked together to make this the best movie possible.”
Little is a must see for the entire family to enjoy! The film touched on themes of self-empowerment, personal evolution, the impact of bullying and the importance of lifting up those around you to aspire to be their best selves. It also features the first-ever portrayal of a black female tech CEO on film. Ultimately, the film speaks to universal themes and ideas that all people can relate to. With such an inspiring message, it still was comedic. Anyone who appreciates a comedy with a heart should run to see this movie. The film is set to release on April 12, 2019, in theaters nationwide.
Rotten Tomatoes Current Score: N/A
THAheadline Score (THAscore): 9/10