The biggest shift from big screen to small is also the most obvious: the lead character of Rob, played in the movie by John Cusack, is now played by Kravitz. (The character’s first name, now short for Robin, remains the same.) Executive producer Veronica West told reporters that she “didn’t want to redo High Fidelity without making this change,” according to Deadline.
Goodbye, Chicago. Hello, Brooklyn
While High Fidelity the novel took place in London and High Fidelity the movie was praised for its accurate, idiosyncratic portrayal of Chicago, the new show will transplant the action yet again, this time to Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
One thing viewers of the 2000 film will notice is, well, how overwhelmingly white it is. (The only notable exception: Kravitz’s mother, Lisa Bonet.) The upcoming series, featuring actors of color like Kravitz, Da’Vine Joy Randolph (Empire, Dolemite is My Name) and Kingsley Ben-Adir (The OA), better reflects the demographics of a diverse-yet-gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood in 2020.
Hulu’s High Fidelity also introduces the much-needed sexual diversity missing in the source material: Rob is queer, her “top 5 heartbreaks” consisting of both men and women. And her record store employee and friend Simon (David H. Holmes) is Rob’s ex, now out of the closet and dating men.
Back in 2000, High Fidelity introduced the world to a charming, frenetic comedian named Jack Black. 2020’s High Fidelity seems poised to do the same for Da’Vine Joy Randolph, already a scene-stealer alongside Eddie Murphy in last year’s Dolemite is My Name. Besides her comedic chops, Randolph already has a Tony nomination under her belt; odds are good that she’ll show off her impressive pipes on the show.
The movie High Fidelity is legendary for its music: the screenwriters allegedly sorted through over 2,000 songs to find the perfect cues for the movie’s soundtrack, which spans from Bob Dylan to the Velvet Underground to Stereolab. But hopefully the show will mix in some contemporary tunes and new genres like rap, hip-hop and electronic among the classics.
A New Generation
Twenty years on, the ennui and music snobbery displayed by John Cusack’s Rob and his friends in High Fidelity feels a bit dated to contemporary audiences, like when Jack Black’s Barry sneers at a customer, “Do we look like the kind of store that sells ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You?’” If early reviews are any indication, this new High Fidelity drops some of the Gen X cynicism in favor of millennial earnestness and self-reflection — still set to a killer soundtrack, of course.
Hulu’s upcoming High Fidelity is an update to both the 1995 Nick Hornby novel and its 2000 movie adaptation.
The series, starring Zoë Kravitz as Rob, follows the same concept as its source material: an unlucky-in-love record store owner decides to revisit their top five past heartbreaks. But how will this new version be updated for the 2020s?