Amazon Announces First Original Movie: Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq

By on July 20, 2015
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 25:  Director Spike Lee speaks onstage during the "Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truthts" panel discussion at the HBO portion of the 2013 Summer Television Critics Association tour - Day 2 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 25, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

 (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Amazon is expanding their original streaming content into movies as well and their first release will have some star power behind by way of Spike Lee.

Lee’s upcoming film, Chi-Raq is set to become the first Amazon Studios original movie according to a news release. The film, which focuses on violence in inner-city Chicago, was scripted by Lee along with Kevin Willmott, It is a modern-day update of Lysistrata, the classical Greek comedy by Aristophanes. Ascending actress Teyonah Parris (Mad Men) will play the lead character Lysistrata, a young Chicago woman who goes on a sex strike in protest of black-on-black gun violence.

Chi-Raq was shot entirely in the Windy City and will open for an awards-qualifying run in December, hit theaters in earnest after the new year, and then become available for Amazon Prime customers to stream soon after.

The cast for Chi-Raq includes Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson, Angela Bassett, John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson and Harry Lennix, among many others.

“I’m honored to be part of the film that will launch Amazon Studios and to tell a story that is so important,” said Lee. “Please don’t be fooled by the title of Chi-Raq, this new Spike Lee joint will be something very special. We have assembled a stellar cast.”

Ted Hope, Amazon Studios Head of Motion Picture Production, in a statement,

“Spike Lee is one of the most distinct and visionary filmmakers of our time. It would be impossible to find a better filmmaker with whom to launch our studio. He has a unique voice, a distinct eye, and he tackles important subjects with humor and heart, pointing to solutions and not exploiting the problems. Chi-Raq may be his greatest, and definitely his boldest film yet—everything about it is distinctive.”.

 

Chi-Raq opens in theaters in early 2016.

About Darth Sarah

Sarah is a journalist and an artist who lives in the city. She loves movies and television. She reads early and often. She also secretly hopes the Doctor will come and take her away, though she realizes he probably already has a dedicated companion at the moment. Sarah also helps out over at BSCkids.com, Optionated.com and our other sites!

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