Cameras are now rolling on Spike Lee‘s “Chiraq,” but just who is actually in the musical comedy seems to be slightly in flux. Jennifer Hudson, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Cusack are all mostly confirmed, though the initially reported Kanye West won’t appear on screen, however he may contribute to the soundtrack. And now some new talent is coming aboard the picture which is certainly the starriest Lee has helmed in a while.
Posting on Instagram, the director revealed that Dave Chappelle is now part of the movie. This is a very big deal considering Chappelle hasn’t appeared in anything going on a vision quest (or whatever) after “Chapelle’s Show.” He’s now back in the public eye with a return to stand up comedy, but this will be his first stint in front of a camera. How big or small his role will be remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, Nick Cannon (as a rapper) and Wesley Snipes have also joined the picture, and so too has D.B. Sweeney, apparently playing the mayor of Chicago. As for the plot, it’s reportedly focusing on a woman who strives to end gang warfare in the city, but no other details are available at the moment, except that Cusack might be playing a character based on St. Sabina pastor Rev. Michael Pfleger.
So lots of surprises still to come from Lee’s movie which will be shooting until July 10th. It sounds ambitious, and here’s hoping it’s a return to the form that made him one of our favorite filmmakers in the first place. [Chicago Tribune/Consequence Of Sound]
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