American comedy Back on the Strip has all the hallmarks to be in the running for the film of the summer. Here, we will take a deep dive into the synopsis, location, cast, release date, and more.
Where is it set, and what’s the story?
For those of you that haven’t heard of the phrase before, ‘The Strip’ refers to a 4.2-mile-long section of Las Vegas Boulevard, in Clark County Nevada. This area of Las Vegas is known for its high density of attractions, hotels, restaurants, resorts, and, most famously, casinos, quickly becoming known as the casino capital of the world. In fact, the first showroom and casino was built on the modern-day Strip back in 1941 – El Rancho Texas. Nowadays, anyone can try their hand at live casino games such as roulette, blackjack, poker in real time with real croupiers and other players, getting an authentic casino experience via online platforms and mobile apps.
The first casino in Las Vegas was so successful that a second hotel – the Hotel Last Frontier – was opened in 1942, along with The Flamingo in 1947 and Desert Inn in 1950, building the foundations for what is now probably the most famous collection of casino resorts in history.
And, it is on this Strip that Back on the Strip takes place. After losing the woman that he thought was the one, Merlin (Spence Moore II) packs up his life and moves to Las Vegas. His dream is to become a famous magician, entertaining the masses throughout the various casinos, hotels, and resorts. Instead, Merlin is noticed by Luther (Wesley Snipes) – otherwise known as Mr Big – who spots that Merlin has a hidden natural talent. That hidden talent? Dance (a la Magic Mike), explaining the clever play on words in the film’s title. Thus, Luther persuades Merlin to become the frontman of his crew, The Chocolate Chips. The only issue is that The Chocolate Chips, including the leader Luther himself, are past their prime, out of practice, and out of shape.
Will Merlin be able to help The Chocolate Chips get back on form, and put their conflicts aside to reunite the gang? Can The Chocolate Chips help to boost Merlin’s confidence and win back the girl? We’ll have to wait and see!
Cast, crew, and release date
Written by Eric Daniel and Chris Spencer, this comedic film promises plenty of laughs courtesy of stand-up comedians Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart, with the lead role played by All American‘s Spence Moore II. The movie also stars silver screen veteran Wesley Snipes, alongside Faizon Love and JB Smoove. Back on the Strip was shot on location in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2022 – according to Snipes – and marks writer Chris Spencer’s directorial debut.
The film is helmed by production company Luminosity Entertainment, spearheaded by Missy Valdez and Geno Taylor, with two of the stars (Haddish and Snipes) also taking up producer roles. The cast is rounded out by Caryn Ward, Emelina Adams, Colleen Camp, Bill Bellamy, Piper Curda, and Gary Owen.
Back on the Strip premieres in the Netherlands on 17th August 2023, and in the USA on 18th August 2023. The release date for the UK is yet to be announced.