Spike Lee’s latest work, Chi-Raq, will be Amazon Studios’ first original movie.
A drama centred on the devastating gun violence that has plagued Chicago’s southside neighbourhoods in recent years (the fusing of ‘Chicago’ and ‘Iraq’ has been used around the city for a while now), Chi-Raq will star long-time Lee collaborators Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett and Wesley Snipes, as well as Teyonah Parris, Common, John Cusack, Nick Cannon, Jennifer Hudson and Dave Chappelle. The script is penned by Lee and Kevin Willmott, while Kanye West, a Chicago native, is also rumoured to be involved.
Amazon Studios was launched by the e-commerice giant and Warner Bros in 2010 to develop TV shows, movies and comics from online script and video submissions. Announced in January, Amazon Original Movies is a new initiative to produce and acquire all-new movies for theatrical release that can then be distributed exclusively for Prime members. These flicks will join Amazon Original Series like Transparent, Catastrophe, Bosch, Mozart in the Jungle and Alpha House.
“I’m honoured to be part of the film that will launch Amazon Studios and to tell a story that is so important,” said Lee, whose credits include Do The Right Thing, He Got Game and 25th Hour. “Please don’t be fooled by the title of Chi-Raq, this new Spike Lee joint will be something very special. We have assembled a stellar cast.” A release date for the film has yet to be announced.
Spike Lee image via Shutterstock