It’s been a busy year for Spike Lee. He celebrated the 25th anniversary of “Do the Right Thing.” (My interview with producer Jon Kilik here.) He’s the go-to guy for shooting stage and concert shows. He directed “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth,” which HBO aired last fall as well as comedy Store documentary “Jerrod Carmichael: Love at the Store,” which HBO will air on October 4. He shot “Amex Unstaged Pharrell Williams Live at the Apollo,” “Katt Williams: Priceless” and “Go Brasil Go!” He also helped to create (uncredited) opening sequences for “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”
A year ago Lee raised a total of $1,418,910 on Kickstarter for horror comedy “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus,” his remake of Bill Gunn’s “Ganja & Hess,” starring Stephen Tyrone Williams, Zaraah Abrahams, Rami Malek, and Elvis Nolasco in a “movie about human beings who are addicted to blood,” which Lee refuses to call a vampire flick. (Full disclosure: I donated $40 and was sent a Spike Lee Joint t-shirt.) Following the movie’s June 22 debut as the closing night film at the American Black Film Festival, where it earned middling reviews, Lee is in talks to find the right distributor.
Where is it going to end up? Lee has screened the film for the major specialty players, who have so far passed on its commercial prospects. So it’s likely to land at one of the smaller distribs –and may need some P & A backing from Lee, who remains the film’s strongest sales tool. Gravitas, which gave Lee’s Brooklyn tale “Red Hook Summer” a limited theatrical release (I liked it more than most critics), is an interested suitor.