Putting Spike Lee in front of a crowd is always a sure bet for entertainment, as the man is definitely fun to watch answer questions and tell stories. It’s true that he can send out some seriously misdirected dickheadedness from time to time, but more often than not he walks the walk and talks the “telling it like it is” talk. I’ve seen him do as much at an anniversary screening of Do The Right Thing, and fortunately for us THR was there to watch Charlie Rose talk with the director in front of a crowd of folks at a design convention I’ve never heard of. Spike gave his thoughts on a number of topics from the re-election of the president (uphill battle), to the relevance of the Academy (non-existent), to his thoughts on actors (digs ’em).
All of those thoughts are worth hearing from Spike’s unique perspective, but another conversation that might catch your eye in a “Oh shit that’s right… where is that movie?” kind of way is his discussion of Inside Man 2. More specifically that it hasn’t happened, and will not happen. He’s mentioned the death of the project before, but not quite as definitively, and without making the interesting point he makes here:
“Inside Man was my most successful film… But we can’t get the sequel made. And one thing Hollywood does well is sequels. The film’s not getting made. We tired many times. It’s not going to happen.”
It is kind of baffling that Lee couldn’t get a film like that made, especially when all of the well-respected cast members were more than willing to return, and a script was ordered. Spike’s spot on about Hollywood, and truly is baffling that for all of the raging hard-on’s the studios keep for sequels, he couldn’t get one made from a successful first film that featured such beloved stars.
That said, $180m is a nice chunk of change, but those aforementioned beloved stars probably pull quite a premium, so I can’t imagine the budget was starting off on the right foot based purely on salaries. That’s wild speculation though, and ultimately the fact of the matter is that Hollywood is a grinding, tearing, fell turbine of confusion, and just sticking a 2 at the end of a project never guarantees shit. It’s a bummer that Spike couldn’t make the film happen, but it’s probably better that the successful foray into merging his auteuristic and mainstream instincts will remain a singular, unsullied film. The fact that he didn’t even have the option to follow it up though… what a screwed up town this industry calls home.
Regardless, it would be nice for Spike to break his narrative feature fast and get something up on screen. There are rumors of some sort of project about the wealthy buying out parts of Brooklyn, called Brooklyn Loves MJ. Supposedly a greatest hits style cast of many of Lee’s favorite actors would be involved. There’s also latent rumors of Jackie Robinson and James Brown based projects floating around his potential list.
Were you ever especially excited for an Inside Man sequel, or has the film sat solo on your shelf with pride all these years? Tweet a thought at me, comment your brains out down below, or jump into the dialogue on the message boards.