In the last few years Spike Lee has made a heartbreaking documentary, a crowd-pleasing heist film, a terrible comedy no one bothered with and a great, gritty New York City film. It’s been so long since he’s made a controversial movie that he might actually be considered a safe director now.
His next film could change that. Could. Spike is planning to direct a movie about the LA riots that came after the Rodney King verdict. With Spike helming and John Ridley writing the script, it seems possible that this movie could be something incendiary like Lee’s masterpiece, Do the Right Thing. But with Brian Grazer producing, it could be more like Spike Lee’s Crash.
Lee denies that’s where he’ll be taking the film. "This isn’t about some cavalcade of stars, but rather a truthful and realistic examination of what happened, what the ramifications were and where we are now, in hopes that something like this doesn’t happen again," he told Variety.
Spike hopes to have the script ready for Universal before the studio chiefs go on their holiday break. The LA riot film would come before his sequel to Inside Man.
I have to have high hopes for this. Spike Lee is one of my favorite filmmakers – I like even his worst films more than some middling directors’ best work (well, except for She Hate Me. God that sucked). I miss the Spike who was pissing off a lot of people; the guy is so mainstream these days that when you come across a dude on the internet is all, “Spike Lee is a troublemaker/racist,” he might as well be using David_Duke_4Eva as his screenname. A movie about the riots from Spike Lee is going to create a knee-jerk negative reaction in the hearts of secret racists as soon as they hear about it, and that makes me happy. Just don’t make it all sappy and Oscar-baiting, Spike.