This is unexpected, but good news!
According to The Wrap, Spike Lee is taking his filmmaking talents to Amazon Studios next, for a feature film titled “Chiraq,” which Samuel L. Jackson, Common, Kanye West, and Jeremy Piven are all eyed to star in.
No confirmation from Amazon yet (I typically receive all their Studio press releases, which is how they usually announce their projects. So this one is exclusive to The Wrap). And no details on what “Chiraq” is all about. Spike may be keeping this one underwraps, as he did with his last feature, “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus.”
Although, for those unaware, “Chiraq” is a word used to describe Chicago because of its high crime rates; “Chiraq” as in “Iraq,” to spell it out. Essentially comparing the city of Chicago to a war zone. So it could be that Spike will address violence in the windy city, in the film.
Now we wait to learn more about this seemingly secretive project. Spike sometimes teases his upcoming work on his social media pages, which I did check, to see if there’s any mention of “Chiraq,” but I didn’t find anything.
It was in 2010 when Amazon.com launched Amazon Studios, with the goal being to produce original theatrical films and TV series. Since then, the Studio has produced several new TV series (winning an Emmy for one of them last year), and has signed up some top Hollywood talent to develop content for the studio. Amazon has been quite aggressive in the space, spending a lot of money to draw talent, in order to compete with the likes of Netflix, as well as other film and TV production and distribution studios – all fighting for your attention! So it’s maybe no surprise that Spike Lee, a filmmaker who’s been very vocal about his struggles in getting his own projects pushed through the traditional Hollywood studio system, is entertaining what Amazon apparently has to offer.