Spike Lee has had us all up and curious since the news that he was remaking the story of Lysistrata into a modern day classic ‘Chi-Raq’.
Spike Lee’s new film Chi-Raq is kicking off Amazon Studios foray into films with a slated release in U.S cinemas from the Dec. 4. Originally planned for a world premier at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, Amazon are taking their chances and placing a bigger bet on the movie. Expectations about the film are rising high, and there’s now a chance that this could be a strong contender for inclusion in the qualifying run for awards season in December. With an officially opening after the new year, Amazon have partnered with Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions to move forward the planned release to U.S cinemas in time for that awards season window.
Chi-Raq, is a remaking of the classic Greek comedic play Lysistrata, which is also a cult feminist classic, where the women of Athens go on a sex strike as a weapon of choice to drive a halt to warfare. Spike Lee drew considerable controversy when it first emerged that the film would be shot in Chicago and based around the current epidemic of black-on-black gun violence in Chicago. Lee’s modern day version, Chi-Raq stars Teyonah Parris as the lead female protagonist alongside a stellar cast that includes Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson, D.B. Sweeney, Harry Lennix, Steve Harris, Angela Bassett, John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson as well as debut guest appearances from Sasha Go Hard and Eryn Allen Kane.
The movie has been written to reflect the style of the Greek play but has been made to reflect the current times and transformed into an accessible format for modern day audiences. Check out the trailer above, shot in classic Spike Lee style.
Unlike the Netflix debut film ‘Beasts Of No Nation’, Amazon have changed strategy by not premiering Chi-raq on Amazon Prime first as expected, and the films release online will now be precluded with a cinema debut and then made available on Amazon Prime shortly thereafter. Amazon and Netflix are leading the battle between cinema distributors and their own online streaming strategy by either closing or shortening the window between premiering films offline and online. Amazon Studio’s haven’t yet released information about the expected release date on Amazon Prime of Chi-Raq.
Read here for the background to the controversy surrounding the making of the film.