With Netflix now edging into the theatrical space, and gunning for Oscars this year with Cary Fukunaga‘s “Beasts Of No Nation,” they won’t be the only streaming service looking to make a bigger impact. Amazon has their sights set on the awards race, and have their own contender gearing up to to get in the game.
THR reports that Amazon, who have officially picked up the film after months of rumors, will give Spike Lee‘s “Chiraq” an Oscar qualifying theatrical run in December. Apparently, the plan was for the movie debut at the Cannes Film Festival next year, but everyone is so pumped for the flick, they want to get it out there in time for the Oscars, before jumping to Amazon Prime in 2016.
And as a plan has come into focus for the film, so too has the cast. While lots of names have been bandied about the final roster looks like this: Teyonah Parris, Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson, D.B. Sweeney, Harry Lennix, Steve Harris, Angela Bassett, John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. (No mention of Dave Chappelle, but perhaps he’s just making a cameo?)
Even more, there’s actual plot details, with Lee’s riff on the Greek play “Lysistrata” follows a woman who goes on a sex strike to protest black-on-black violence. Apparently the script is written in a “lyrical style,” which may explain early chatter that “Chi-Raq” was a musical.
Big moves indeed from Amazon, who unlike Netflix, aren’t upsetting theater owners by going day-and-date with their movies. As for Lee’s film, it’ll be interesting to see if he can shake up the awards race. It’s been a while since he’s made a drama with that kind of potency, but if this movie truly has the goods, it’ll be a welcome addition to a promising Oscar season.