‘Gangs of Lagos’ Was Originally Named ‘Once Upon A Time In Isale Eko’
Before settling on “Gangs of Lagos,” the popular film went by numerous other names.
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
The need to come up with something new and exciting that resonates with the audience and the marketing team can make naming films one of the most difficult aspects of production.
In case you’re wondering, this isn’t only a Nollywood issue; Hollywood also has problems with movie names.
To mention a few, Pretty Woman was almost called 3,000, Titanic was almost titled Planet Ice, Quentin Tarantino’s classic Pulp Fiction was almost dubbed Black Mask, and American Pie was almost called Comfort Food.
Back in Nollywood, we just learned that Netflix’s popular film Shanty Town was originally titled Shark Town.
A recent interview with Demi OluBanwo and Adesegun Adetoro, two of the executive producers of ‘Gangs of Lagos,’ revealed some of the film’s earlier titles.
It turns out that Prime Video’s first African original went under several titles, including Once Upon a Time in Isale Eko.
“It was originally called Once Upon A Time in Isale Eko,” says OluBanwo. Then it was Under Lagos.”
They used focus groups to determine which name best fit the tale. They eventually settled on the title we have now after shooting.
Adetoro also revealed some details about the film, which he calls one of the most expensive to produce at the time.
“It was probably one of the highest budgets when we shot this film. It cost a pretty penny. We did it just after covid when people were not taking too many chances with entertainment, Hollywood was cancelling projects, and things were happening all over the world. It was crazy, but we did it,” he stated.
Gangs of Lagos quickly rose to the top 10 categories in over 30 countries worldwide within the first 24 hours of streaming, proving that all that money and effort were well spent.
It quickly rose to the top three films in the world within three days.
The criminal thriller, which was directed by Jade Osiberu, tells the tale of three friends named Obalola, Ify, and Gift as they pursue their goals and fate on the gritty streets of Isale Eko.
The movie features a number of actors, including Tobi Bakre, Adesua Etomi, Dami Banwo, Iyabo Ojo, Toyin Abraham, Adebowale Adebayo, Bimbo Ademoye, and Wasiu Pasuma Alabi.
Currently, Prime Video is the only place to view Gangs of Lagos.
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