Spike Lee to direct hip-hop version of Romeo and Juliet

Prince of Cats will be set in the '80s

spike lee romeo juliet prince cats
Spike Lee, photo via Facebook

    Spike Lee will revisit one of literature’s most timeless and tragic love stories for his next film, but with a twist. Titled Prince of Cats, it’s said to be an ’80s-set, hip-hop take on the Shakespearean classic Romeo and Juliet. 

    “The film centers on Tybalt [Juliet’s cousin] and his Capulet brothers, who navigate Da People’s Republic of Brooklyn, where underground sword dueling — including katanas — with the rival Montagues blossoms into a vibrant world,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. “That world includes hip-hop essentials such as DJing, emceeing, breakdancing and graffiti.”

    (Read: The 80 Greatest Movies of the ’80s)

    Lee, whose last project was 2018’s widely acclaimed BlacKkKlansman, will direct Prince of Cats, as well pen the script alongside Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, former editor-in-chief of rap publication The Source. Its script will be based on a graphic novel written and illustrated by Ron Wimberly.


    The Legendary Pictures film was to originally feature Lakeith Stanfield, but the Knives Out actor is reportedly no longer attached.

    Upon release last year, BlacKkKlansman received critical praise, with many heralding the movie as Lee’s comeback. The film eventually earned six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Lee’s first-ever director nod. Consequence of Sound also named the 62-year-old veteran the 2018 Filmmaker of the Year.