Update: A representative for West denies that he’ll be appearing in the film. He may, however, contribute to the soundtrack.
Despite opposition from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Spike Lee is moving forward with his next film Chiraq, which will tell a story of gang conflict in the Englewood neighborhood. Screen Daily reports the film is being shopped at Cannes, and with that news comes more casting additions and plot details for the film. Dr. Kanye West and Samuel L. Jackson are both confirmed to star in the film, along with new additions Jennifer Hudson and John Cusack.
The plot of the film will be a re-imagining of the ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata, in which women of Athens withhold sex from their husbands in order to bring the Peloponnesian War to an end. That play is a musical comedy, which explains the inclusion of musical talents like West and Hudson in the cast, and the premise of gang wars brought to an end by forced celibacy is certainly comedic. Now the task of attempting to make light, while also paying respect to the reality of the Chicago gang scene, falls on Lee’s lap, who has certainly been up to the challenge before.
The film will be released in the US by Amazon’s Original Movies studio and will reportedly see a theatrical release in addition to streaming on Amazon platforms. No release date has been set.