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The Spike Lee Movies That Never Happened

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Spike Lee

Spike Lee is without doubt one of the most vital filmmakers working in up to date Hollywood. While his “joints” are sometimes very humorous and entertaining, he injects most of them with some thought-provoking social commentary that’s related to the world on the time. Furthermore, he does so with originality and stylistic flourishings which might be unmistakably his personal, and that’s why nearly all of his motion pictures, together with such classics as Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X and his latest Best Picture nominee, BlacKkKlansman, are worthwhile viewing.

Of course, the film trade is unpredictable, and it’s commonplace for important filmmakers to have tasks collapse. In Lee’s case, he’s been pressured to surrender a number of probably superior motion pictures on account of a wide range of circumstances that have been past his management. Now that he’s made the script to a kind of motion pictures, his deliberate Jackie Robinson biopic, out there for public consumption, now could be the proper time to look again and marvel what may have been.

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Lee deliberate to write down and direct a movie based mostly on the lifetime of Jackie Robinson to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the athlete breaking the colour barrier in Major League Baseball. Denzel Washington was touted for the starring position as properly. However, artistic variations with Turner Pictures resulted in Lee taking the undertaking to Columbia Pictures, the place it fell aside as soon as once more. The film was ultimately made in 2013, directed by Brian Helgeland and starring Chadwick Boseman because the legendary baseball participant.

Save Me, Joe Louis

Lee hasn’t had a lot luck relating to making motion pictures about standard sports activities figures. For this one, he wished Terrence Howard to play the titular boxer in a narrative that will have centered round his fights with Max Schmeling. Arnold Schwarzenegger was fascinated by taking part in Schmeling, however Lee couldn’t purchase many of the funds that he wanted to convey the story to life, and that was that. Unlike different biopics Lee was connected to, this one hasn’t been picked up by one other filmmaker afterward.

Get On Up

This James Brown biopic was launched in 2012 after Tate Taylor ultimately inherited directing duties. Lee initially supposed to helm the movie again within the early 2000s, however points over licensing Brown’s music induced the movie to stall, and Lee moved on to different tasks. Funnily sufficient, Boseman additionally performs the lead in Get On Up, making that two biopics he has starred in that Lee was connected to at one level.

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Inside Man 2

Following the success of his heist movie Inside Man, Lee entered negotiations to supervise a sequel with a tentative filming date of 2009 in thoughts. Washington and Clive Owen would have reprised their respective roles because the cop and robber who develop into entangled in a battle of wits, this time throughout a model new legal scheme. Jodie Foster and Chiwetel Ejiofor have been additionally anticipated to return. Unfortunately, Lee was unable to safe funding for the follow-up and the film was canceled in 2011. A direct-to-video sequel, titled Inside Man: Most Wanted, was launched final 12 months, albeit with a brand new solid of characters.

Selling Time

After Inside Man, Lee thought of making this supernatural thriller for Fox. The story would have revolved round a person (performed by Tom Cruise) who sells components of his life in an effort to relive and alter the worst day he ever had. Prior to Lee’s involvement, Forest Whittaker virtually directed the film, which he wished Will Smith to star in. Selling Time appears destined to stay in growth hell, though different administrators, together with DJ Caruso, have tried to resurrect it all through the years to no avail.

Time Traveler

Lee additionally wished to write down and direct this adaptation of Dr. Ronald Mallet’s Time Traveler: A Scientist’s Personal Mission To Make Time Travel a Reality. The e-book dramatizes the scientist’s expertise, from rising up in poverty and obsessive about science fiction to changing into one of many first African Americans to obtain a Ph. D in theoretical physics. Mallet has devoted his profession to researching the potential of time journey and his concepts are fascinating, however his story is inspirational and would make for an excellent biopic in the correct palms. This undertaking simply kind of went quiet and is presumably an afterthought for Lee at this level.

LA Riots

In 2008, Lee seemed set to direct a film in regards to the Los Angeles riots, helmed from a script by John Ridley and Terry George. The concept behind the movie was to supply an egalitarian perspective of the occasions instructed from a number of factors of view, due to this fact requiring a large funds given the scope of the story. The undertaking subsequently hit the brakes when Universal Pictures requested Lee to make a “scaled again” dramatization of the riots, which angered the socially aware filmmaker. Lee hasn’t dominated out returning to this film at a later date, although he’s claimed that it’s been shelved for now.

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Brooklyn Loves Michael Jackson

Back in 2010, Samuel L. Jackson revealed that he and Lee have been going to reunite for a film about Michael Jackson. but it surely wouldn’t have been centered on the controversial pop star, of whom Lee is an enormous fan. Instead, the movie would have marked a return to Lee’s Brooklyn-centric roots. According to Samuel L. Jackson, the premise centered round a gaggle of Brooklynites who wish to have MJ carry out a live performance within the borough’s park, however their plans aren’t welcomed by members of the gentrified space of the neighborhood. John Turturro, Julianne Moore, Rosie Perez, Anthony Mackie, and Kerry Washington have been additionally rumored to star till the movie was scrapped in 2011.

Nagasaki Deadline

Lee has by no means been afraid to confront hot-button points in his motion pictures, and in 2010, he virtually tackled the War on Terror. Nagasaki Deadline would have targeted on a troubled FBI agent and his try and thwart two terrorist assaults which might be set to happen on American soil. This feels like a fast-paced thriller that will have been very topical on the time provided that it was introduced shortly after the Times Square terror scare. However, the film by no means got here to fruition for no matter motive.

Marion Barry Biopic

This is one other film that went quiet shortly after being introduced. If the HBO Films biopic in regards to the former Washington DC mayor went forward, although, it might have starred Eddie Murphy within the lead position and would have allowed the actor to showcase extra of his dramatic chops. Barry was a larger-than-life politician who served because the mayor of America’s capital metropolis twice, however his phrases have been separated by a six-month jail stint. He’s an attention-grabbing determine to make a film about, and Lee is without doubt one of the few filmmakers who may do it justice.

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Porgy and Bess

Lee has but to make a fully-fledged musical, though a few of his motion pictures have briefly explored components of them, such because the jazz extravaganza scene in School Daze and the hip-hop-infused dialogue in Chi-Raq. Music performs an enormous half in a variety of his motion pictures, and it’s clear that Lee’s been itching to attempt his hand at a correct musical for fairly a while. He virtually did as properly, again in 2012 with a deliberate remake of 1959’s Porgy and Bess. The unique film — and the stage present that predated it — follows two ill-fated lovers as they attempt to discover a solution to be collectively in a city the place nobody approves of their relationship. Lee may work wonders with a premise like that, however followers must look forward to him to showcase his musical chops.

Spinning Gold

There’s a pattern growing right here: most of Lee’s unmade motion pictures are biopics. At one level, he was in negotiations to make this film about Neil Bogart, a file label government who found some iconic musical acts corresponding to Donna Summer, Kiss, and The Village People. Justin Timberlake was reportedly in talks to star as Bogart, however these plans modified when the topic’s son, Timothy Scott Bogart, signed on to direct final 12 months and gave Jeremy Jordan the half. The excellent news is that Spinning Gold can be launched in some unspecified time in the future within the close to future.

Enter the Dragon

Oldboy, Lee’s final foray into remaking beloved motion pictures from the Far East, didn’t precisely go down properly. It’s his solely downright horrible film. However, in 2014, the director expressed an curiosity in remaking Enter the Dragon, the 1973 martial arts masterpiece that made Bruce Lee a family title. In this deliberate remake, Ken Yeong would have starred within the position made well-known by Lee within the unique, whereas Billy Bob Thornton was on board to play Roper. The final time any information was reported about this film, David Leitch had signed on to direct it.

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