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Spike Lee’s ‘Chiraq’ Will Be Musical-Comedy Reimagining of ‘Lysistrata’ + Jennifer Hudson Joins Cast

Spike Lee's 'Chiraq' Will Be Musical-Comedy Reimagining of 'Lysistrata' + Jennifer Hudson Joins Cast

Despite much criticism and also attempts to stifle production of the film, all systems are apparently still “go” for Spike Lee’s “Chiraq.”

Leading producer/financier and international sales agency IM Global will be taking the project to the Cannes Market to shop it to international buyers, says Screen Daily in an exclusive. 

The magazine also calls the film a comedy musical, which is news to me. Up until today, we’ve known it to be a dark comedy; so the musical element is a surprise. It won’t be the first time that Spike has directed a dramedy/musical (see “School Daze”). And music has always been an important component in all his films. But whether “Chiraq” will be a straight musical, or a dramedy first, with 2 or 3 musical numbers in it, Screen Daily doesn’t reveal.

But maybe the addition of Jennifer Hudson to the cast (also new to me) may tell us something.

That’s right – J-Hud joins the previously mentioned Kanye West, Common (also musicians) John Cusack and Samuel  L. Jackson, who were said to be in talks for roles.

Also revealed is that “Chiraq” will be Spike’s retelling of the ancient Greek comedy “Lysistrata” – in short, the women of Greece refused to have sex with their husbands, all in an effort to bring an end to the Peloponnesian War, via the signing of a peace treaty. In Spike’s film, the story will center on a woman’s quest to end gang warfare in Chicago, likely via similar methods as used by Lysistrata; i.e., no sex for the brothas in the middle of the gang war, until the violence ends… and it all unfolds as a musical comedy.

Sounds ambitious. 

It’s not said, but I’m wondering if J-Hud has been cast to play the woman at the center of the narrative.

With IM Global taking the project to the Cannes Market later this month, I expect further details about it will be revealed.

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