Spike Lee: ‘I’m not going to a movie theatre until there’s a vaccine’

Spike Lee won’t go to a cinema until a vaccine has been found for the coronavirus. In April, the BlackKklansman director spoke out against the decision to reopen cinemas in Georgia while the pandemic is still ongoing, and in a new interview with Vanit…

Spike Lee won’t go to a cinema until a vaccine has been found for the coronavirus.

In April, the BlackKklansman director spoke out against the decision to reopen cinemas in Georgia while the pandemic is still ongoing, and in a new interview with Vanity Fair, he insisted he won’t be going to any venue in which large groups of people gather until there’s a vaccination against the Covid-19 virus.

“I know I’m not going to a movie theatre,” he stated. “I know I’m not going to a Broadway show. I know I’m not going to Yankee Stadium. Corona is a b**ch. Corona is not playing. You f**k around you’re going to get killed, you’re going to die. I’m not ready to go.”

Lee is releasing his new Vietnam War drama, Da 5 Bloods, on Netflix this month, and is scheduled to follow that up with an adaptation of the Prince of Cats graphic novel.

Production was due to kick off in Brooklyn in summer but he doesn’t see filming happening any time soon as there is not yet “a feasible solution” to make sets safe enough for the cast and crew.

“How are you going to do a love scene anymore, or an intimate scene? I mean, are you going to do a movie by remote, like Saturday Night Live? I don’t know how you do that. So, we’re on pause now,” the 63-year-old explained.

Lee was set to serve as the jury president at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival before the edition was cancelled. Cannes organisers hope he will take on the role for the 2021 festival, but this is yet to be confirmed.

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Spike Lee to lead Cannes Film Festival jury

Spike Lee will serve as jury president during the 2020 Cannes Film Festival.The BlacKkKlansman director and his team of jurors, which are yet to be announced, will watch all the films selected for the official competition and decide which should receiv…

Spike Lee will serve as jury president during the 2020 Cannes Film Festival.

The BlacKkKlansman director and his team of jurors, which are yet to be announced, will watch all the films selected for the official competition and decide which should receive the Palme d’Or for Best Film.

“In this life I have lived, my biggest blessings have been when they arrived unexpected, when they happened out of nowhere. When I got the call that I was offered the opportunity to be president of Cannes jury for 2020, I was shocked, happy, surprised and proud all at the same time,” Lee said in a statement. “To me, the Cannes Film Festival (besides being the most important film festival in the world – no disrespect to anybody) has had a great impact on my film career. You could easily say Cannes changed the trajectory of who I became in world cinema.

“In closing, I’m honoured to be the first person of the African diaspora (USA) to be named president of the Cannes jury and of a main film festival. The Lee family sincerely thanks the Festival de Cannes, Pierre Lescure and Thierry Fremaux and the great people of France who have supported my film career throughout four decades. I will always treasure this special relationship.”

The director has had a strong relationship with Cannes since his debut feature, She’s Gotta Have It, premiered in 1986, and his follow-up, Do the Right Thing, was selected for the official competition in 1989. He has had seven films debut at the French festival, with his most recent effort, BlacKkKlansman, winning the Grand Prix in 2018.

Lee follows in the footsteps of Mexican director Alejandro G. Inarritu, who headed the jury in 2019 and selected Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite for the Palme d’Or. The thriller became the first South Korean film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars on Monday.

The 73rd Cannes Film Festival is set to run 12 to 23 May.

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John David Washington was ‘terrified’ during Tenet stunts

John David Washington had to hide his terror while performing stunts for Christopher Nolan’s new spy thriller Tenet.The BlacKkKlansman actor leads an all-star cast including Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, and Kenneth Branagh in Nolan’s latest blo…

John David Washington had to hide his terror while performing stunts for Christopher Nolan’s new spy thriller Tenet.

The BlacKkKlansman actor leads an all-star cast including Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, and Kenneth Branagh in Nolan’s latest blockbuster, which includes huge action set-pieces shot in seven countries.

But Washington, the son of movie star Denzel Washington, has now admitted that he was scared out of his wits during some of the stunts, with one he filmed alongside Debicki on a boat proving to be particularly frightening.

“I was terrified, but when Christopher Nolan yelled ‘Action!’ I had to throw all that away and make it look cool,” the 35-year-old told Entertainment Weekly.

Asked why he was so worried, Washington added: “Because it’s a boat, man! I don’t know how to drive a boat! But I had to act like I did.”

However, Nolan was full of praise for his leading man, noting the athleticism Washington developed during a short American football career was vital to the film.

“He’s a massively talented actor and physically gifted,” the director said. “He’s an athlete and pretty hard for anybody to keep up with, including the different vehicles we shot him from – cars and helicopters. This guy moves.”

In addition, Nolan insisted Tenet has been an even more ambitious undertaking than his previous blockbusters, including Inception, Interstellar, and Dunkirk.

“We’re crossing a few different genres in a hopefully exciting and fresh way,” he explained. “Emma (Thomas, producer) and I have put together a lot of large-scale productions, but this is certainly the biggest in terms of international reach. We shot in seven countries, all over the place, with a massive cast and huge set pieces. There’s no question, it’s the most ambitious film we’ve made.”

Tenet is slated for release in July 2020.

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Spike Lee to direct hip-hop love story Prince of Cats

Spike Lee is to direct a version of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set in the 1980s New York hip-hop scene.According to The Hollywood Reporter, the BlacKkKlansman filmmaker has closed a deal to direct Prince of Cats, an adaptation of Ron Wimber…

Spike Lee is to direct a version of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set in the 1980s New York hip-hop scene.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the BlacKkKlansman filmmaker has closed a deal to direct Prince of Cats, an adaptation of Ron Wimberly’s graphic novel.

The 2012 book tells Romeo and Juliet’s story through the eyes of her hot-headed cousin Tybalt and transports the story to a fictionalised version of 1980s Brooklyn.

The project has been in development since 2018, when it was to star Lakeith Stanfield, but the Knives Out actor has since dropped out of the movie. Lee will rewrite the script with Wimberly and former The Source editor Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, who wrote the original adapted screenplay. Casting details are yet to be announced.

In Prince of Cats, Tybalt and his Capulet brothers battle with their rival Montagues for control of Da People’s Republic of Brooklyn, where underground sword duelling has become a method of settling disputes, among youngsters obsessed with hip-hop, DJing and graffiti.

Lee’s last film, BlacKkKlansman, was nominated for six Academy Awards, and won for Best Adapted Screenplay, the 62-year-old’s first non-honorary Oscar. His follow-up project is Da 5 Bloods, a Vietnam War thriller starring Chadwick Boseman.

Prince of Cats returns Lee to his beloved Brooklyn, the setting of many of his movies, including She’s Gotta Have It, Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, Crooklyn, and Clockers.

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Laura Harrier determined to improve racial diversity in film industry

Laura Harrier is making it her mission to improve racial diversity in the film industry. The BlacKkKlansman actress wants to front a romantic comedy and break the stereotype that films in the genre are typically developed for white actresses. “I …

Laura Harrier is making it her mission to improve racial diversity in the film industry.

The BlacKkKlansman actress wants to front a romantic comedy and break the stereotype that films in the genre are typically developed for white actresses.

“I want to do romantic comedies and other films in which you don’t see people who look like me; movies where you’ve never really seen people who don’t look like Kate Hudson,” she told Marie Claire U.K. magazine. “I don’t know what people’s thought process was when they believed that audiences couldn’t connect to seeing people of colour fall in love.”

In a separate interview with London’s Evening Standard, the Spider-Man: Homecoming star, who is biracial, admitted that she felt “underrepresented” growing up because onscreen characters didn’t look like her, so she’s glad she’s helping change that for others.

“I felt underrepresented as a person, as an audience member. It’s been amazing to be part of that changing. So many people came up to me on the street after Spider-Man and said it was so encouraging to see a character with a family that looks like theirs,” Laura shared.

“I find it crazy that people are surprised that films with black people in are doing well… People don’t go to the movies or not because of black cast members, a good film is a good film.”

However, the 29-year-old has noticed improvements during her short time in the film industry, such as increased diversity and stronger roles for women.

“Even since when I started a few years ago, the roles for women are more three-dimensional and fully rounded. I hope it’s not just a trend, I’d like to be seen and heard and have a job in the future,” she stated.

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Lucas Till and Lucy Hale cast in civil rights drama Son of the South

Lucas Till and Lucy Hale have bagged lead roles in Spike Lee executive-produced drama Son of the South.The 28-year-old X-Men: Apocalypse actor will star as Bob Zellner in the movie, based on Zellner’s 2008 autobiography The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: …

Lucas Till and Lucy Hale have bagged lead roles in Spike Lee executive-produced drama Son of the South.

The 28-year-old X-Men: Apocalypse actor will star as Bob Zellner in the movie, based on Zellner’s 2008 autobiography The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement, according to Variety.

The movie will tell the story of how Zellner, an Alabama native and grandson of a member of secret society Ku Klux Klan, joined ranks with African-American students fighting for their civil rights in 60s segregated America.

Former Pretty Little Liars star Hale will appear alongside Till as Carol Ann, Zellner’s college girlfriend, in the movie which is currently shooting in Montgomery, Alabama.

Lee, who won the 2019 Academy Award for the BlacKkKlansman adapted screenplay, is executive producing with his longtime editor, Barry Alexander Brown, who received an editing nomination for the 2018 movie – directing from his own screenplay which he wrote almost decade ago.

Brown first crossed paths with Zellner in 1968 when, as a student at Montgomery’s Lanier High School, he contacted Zellner, by then a well-known figure in the civil rights movement, about his high school not being allowed to lower their flag to half-mast following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.

“He had so many stories, and every one of the stories was jaw-dropping, so I knew there was a movie there,” Brown told website Yellowhammernews.com. “I just didn’t know what the movie was. Then it hit me to do it about his transition about being somebody about to graduate from Huntingdon College – sort of a good ol’ boy – and in a matter of a few months, he was in the centre of the civil rights movement.”

Cast members include Lex Scott Davis, Julia Ormond as Virginia Durr, Cedric the Entertainer as Reverend Ralph Abernathy and Sharonne Lanier as Rosa Parks. While Brian Dennehy stars as Zellner’s Ku Klux Klan member grandfather and Chaka Forman will portray the role of his activist father Jim Forman.

Producers on the project are Colin Bates, Eve Pomerance, Bill Black, Stan Erdreich, and River Bend Pictures.

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Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki board Christopher Nolan’s next film

Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki are set to star in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming film.In January (19), executives at Warner Bros. announced that the Interstellar director was working on an untitled project and set the release date for 17 July 202…

Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Debicki are set to star in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming film.

In January (19), executives at Warner Bros. announced that the Interstellar director was working on an untitled project and set the release date for 17 July 2020, with the movie also to be released in IMAX.

While all further details remain under wraps, with the feature currently only being described as an “event” film, editors at Collider reported on Wednesday (20Mar19) that High Life’s Pattinson will take on a lead role. Reporters at Variety have also claimed that Widows actress Debicki has landed a key role, with BlacKkKlansman star John David Washington, 34, previously attached.

No character details are known, though it is rumoured to be an “action blockbuster”. Nolan will be working on the film with his wife and collaborator, producer Emma Thomas.

Bosses at Warner Bros. previously reserved the same July slot for when Nolan unveiled Dunkirk in 2017, with the World War II feature about the Dunkirk evacuation – which featured Fionn Whitehead, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, and Tom Hardy – garnering eight Oscar nominations, including nods for Best Picture and Best Director.

The filmmaker, also known for making Inception and The Dark Knight Trilogy, is not currently working on any other movies.

Pattinson, 32, has been busy in recent months shooting a number of films and is now in the post-production phases of Waiting for the Barbarians, The Lighthouse, and The King. He is also shooting The Devil All the Time and The Souvenir: Part II.

Meanwhile, 28-year-old Debicki has completed work on TV series Lovecraft Country and is next set to reprise the part of Ayesha in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3.

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Spike Lee directs uplifting new Michael B. Jordan Coach clip

Coach has added even more superstar power to its new project after hiring Spike Lee to direct Michael B. Jordan’s latest campaign.Hot on the heels of his first competitive Oscars win, which saw Spike take home the Best Adapted Screenplay award for Bl…

Coach has added even more superstar power to its new project after hiring Spike Lee to direct Michael B. Jordan’s latest campaign.

Hot on the heels of his first competitive Oscars win, which saw Spike take home the Best Adapted Screenplay award for BlacKkKlansman, the celebrated filmmaker has now been unveiled as the director of Coach’s new short film, Words Matter.

“I’m honoured to get to collaborate with giants in their respective fields, Michael B. Jordan and Coach,” Spike said in a statement. “It was truly a magical day working, shooting in the desert. Enjoy.”

Filmed in the desert outside Los Angeles, the short features Michael riding a motorcycle. He comes to a stop to see rocks scattered around with the words hatred, evil, bigotry and lies written on the, but replaces them with others branded with positive words – courage, truth, love and dream.

The Black Panther star was announced as the first-ever global brand ambassador for the company’s menswear collection in September (18).

“Collaborating with the iconic Spike Lee on this short film for Coach was an inspirational experience,” he praised. “Spike’s art has moved the cultural dial for decades. I’m proud of the powerful messaging of this film and to be working alongside a brand that cares about putting that narrative into the world as much as I do.”

Talking about Michael’s appointment at the brand, Coach creative director Stuart Vevers previously revealed that he’d slowly got to know the front row favourite over a number of years before welcoming him into the fold.

“He has been a true supporter of Coach, so it felt like a really natural step to collaborate more closely and create a partnership we can take to the next level,” the designer said.

As well as a soaring film career, Michael has become one of the most exciting names in celebrity fashion. His recent bold outfit choices include a Louis Vuitton harness, a blue velvet tuxedo jacket and a mottled texture Berluti suit.

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Spike Lee tried to leave the Oscars after Green Book won Best Picture – report

Spike Lee was reportedly visibly upset and even tried to leave the Oscars ceremony after Green Book was named Best Picture. According to Variety, the BlacKkKlansman director, 61, was seen waving his arms in disgust, and tried to leave the Dolby Theate…

Spike Lee was reportedly visibly upset and even tried to leave the Oscars ceremony after Green Book was named Best Picture.

According to Variety, the BlacKkKlansman director, 61, was seen waving his arms in disgust, and tried to leave the Dolby Theater when presenter Julia Roberts announced that the controversy-hit film had won.

However, he was stopped at the doors and forced to return to his seat once the speeches had stopped.

The film – based on the true story of celebrated pianist Dr. Don Shirley’s friendship with his driver, Tony Vallelonga – has been extensively criticised for its overly simplistic treatment of racial issues.

Lee, who earlier that evening won his first-ever Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman, explained to reporters backstage that he was disappointed by Green Book’s success, and said “the ref made a bad call”.

“I’m snakebit. Every time someone’s driving somebody, I lose,” he added, in reference to his breakout film Do the Right Thing losing the Oscar for Best Screenplay to Driving Miss Daisy in 1990.

“I thought I was court side at the (Madison Square) Garden and the refs made a bad call,” Lee fired.

He had initially shouted “next question” when asked about his reaction to Green Book’s victory, and quipped, “This is my sixth glass, and you know why,” while holding his champagne flute aloft.

Later, chatting to reporters at the Vanity Fair after-party, Lee said: “Are you British? Let me give you a British answer – it wasn’t my cup of tea.”

According to Variety, Get Out filmmaker and comedian Jordan Peele was among the other stars who didn’t applaud Green Book’s win.

Mahershala Ali scooped the Best Supporting Actor trophy for his portrayal of Dr. Shirley. But Dr. Shirley’s nephew, Edwin Shirley III, and brother, Maurice Shirley, have openly criticised the film and called its portrayal of the musician “a symphony of lies”.

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Spike Lee scribbled down Oscars acceptance speech backstage

Spike Lee hid away in a corner backstage at the 2019 Oscars to scribble down an acceptance speech in case he emerged victorious for his work on BlacKkKlansman. Comedian Trevor Noah, who was one of the guest presenters at Sunday’s (24Feb19) ceremony, t…

Spike Lee hid away in a corner backstage at the 2019 Oscars to scribble down an acceptance speech in case he emerged victorious for his work on BlacKkKlansman.

Comedian Trevor Noah, who was one of the guest presenters at Sunday’s (24Feb19) ceremony, took to Instagram on Monday to share a photo he had captured of the filmmaker sitting on a stool with a pen in his hand and a notepad on his lap.

In the accompanying caption, The Daily Show host explained why he had decided to document the scenario, which took place towards the beginning of the prizegiving, at which BlacKkKlansman was nominated six times.

“While walking around backstage, I noticed a small figure hunched in a corner writing something,” Trevor began. “I got closer and realized it was Spike Lee writing an acceptance speech for his Oscar nominations. I asked him if I could take this picture to remember the moment and he said yes and ‘I hope I get to use this’…”

“Well you got to use the speech @officialspikelee and it was a long time coming!” the TV star continued. “Ladies and gentlemen Oscar Award Winner- Spike Lee #Legend #Oscar #blackklansman”.

Lee was personally shortlisted for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay, and he ended up striking gold for the latter, which marked the 61 year old’s first competitive Academy Award.

Indeed, viewers will remember how Lee pulled out his notes onstage as he picked up the honour, alongside co-writers Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, and Kevin Willmott, and read from his pre-prepared piece.

Lee had previously received an honorary Oscar at the 2015 Governors Awards.

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