The much-criticized “Chicago” film by Spike Lee recently wrapped production last week. Story details are still under wraps, but as we noted many moons ago, the film was rumored to be a musical comedy based on the Greek play, Lysistrata, with a cast led by Mad Men‘s Teyonah Parris alongside Nick Cannon, Jennifer Hudson, Wesley Snipes, John Cusack, Angela Bassett, Samuel L. Jackson, and more. However, the “musical” element of the film is in question, as the script, co-written by Lee and Kevin Willmott, is in a lyrical style similar to Shakespeare, but assumedly modernized.
Originally, the film was going to hold its world premiere at Cannes Film Festival 2016 (if accepted), but both Spike Lee and Amazon Studios, the film’s distributor, are confident enough in the film that they’re bumping its release up to December 2015 as part of a limited theatrical run to qualify it for the awards season. Furthermore, the film will be Amazon Studios’ first original film, establishing Amazon’s film distribution program that was started back in January. The film will officially open next year in theaters, followed by an Amazon-exclusive release online.
Lee had this to say about the film and Amazon Studios’ involvement:
I’m honored to be part of the film that will launch Amazon Studios and to tell a story that is so important. Please don’t be fooled by the title of Chi-Raq, this new Spike Lee joint will be something very special.
I’ve already cast judgment on the film and its offensive title, but I’ll hold any real criticism until the film is released. Could this be Spike Lee’s return to form? I can only hope.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]