Kanye West, Common, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Piven to star in Spike Lee’s Chiraq

In what's being touted as a major coup for Amazon Studios


Spike Lee’s going from Brooklyn to Chicago: The Wrap reports that Kanye West and Common are being eyed to join Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Piven for a new film by the Oscar-nominated filmmaker titled Chiraq.

There’s little confirmed about the plot, though given the title, the film will presumably comment on the city’s troubles with gun violence. Also of note is that all the principal stars are from the area, with the exception of Jackson. West and Common’s representatives did not respond to requests for comments, while Amazon’s representative declined to remark on the report.

As the Chicago Tribune points out, Lee was in town back in January conducting his own research alongside St. Sabina pastor Rev. Michael Pfleger.

“Thanks to Director/Actor Spike Lee,” Pfleger wrote at the time on his Facebook page, “who spent the day at St. Sabina yesterday talking and interviewing … People who cover the violence, Principals who deal with violence in and around their schools, Brothers from the Blocks who live in it every day and Parents who have lost their children to Violence … He spent the day from early morning till late in the night … listening and asking questions to try and get a deeper understanding of the plague of violence. Thanks Spike for caring and wanting to understand.”

On April 18th, Lee will return to Chicago to speak at the City Winery. His most recent film, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, was funded via Kickstarter. Chiraq, however, will be a project for Amazon Studios.

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