Spike Lee works fast. It was only last year that BlacKkKlansman was making the rounds, and since then he’s already wrapped a Vietnam veteran drama titled Da 5 Bloods, and now has a further project in the works. He’s signed on to direct Legendary’s Prince Of Cats, which is being described as a hip-hop take on William Shakespeare‘s Romeo & Juliet.
The film is based on the graphic novel written and illustrated by Ron Wimberly. It’s set in the 1980s hip-hop scene and tells the classic star-crossed love story from the perspective of Juliet’s angry cousin, Tybalt, whose underground sword fights with the rival Montague clan in Da People’s Republic Of Brooklyn blossoms into a vibrant world fuelled by music and dance.
Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, former editor-in-chief of The Source magazine, penned the initial screenplay. Lee will consult both Hinds and Wimberly as he rewrites the script himself. Unfortunately, Lakeith Stanfield – who was once attached to star before Lee came aboard – is no longer involved. Lee and producers Janet and Kate Zucker will search for a new leading man to play Tybalt.
Reportedly, the Brooklyn setting was one element that appealed to Lee. No surprise considering he’s set many of his films there, including She’s Gotta Have It, Do the Right Thing, and Crooklyn.
Until BlacKkKlansman, Lee had had a down decade in his career where his films often weren’t getting the sort of wide release he usually enjoyed. Hopefully now that BlacKkKlansman was a hit, and he finally has an Oscar, these sorts of projects will be deservedly seen by a wider audience.