Spike Lee's forthcoming film Chi-Raq was recently revealed as the first movie to debut from Amazon Studios.
Lee reportedly wrapped filming for the movie, which was originally planned for a world premiere at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Although the filmmaker has declined to speak on specific plans for the film, Amazon Studios head, Roy Price, confirmed that the movie will first play in theaters.
"We couldn't have come up with a better film to launch our division in every which way. Chi-Raq makes no apologies and dares to shock," Ted Hope, the movie's production chief, said. "Spike Lee is one of the most distinct and visionary filmmakers of our time."
As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, Chi-Raq is an updated version of the classical Greek play Lysistrata and stars Teyonah Parris as a woman who protests black-on-black gun violence by going on a sex strike.
The film also stars the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack, Angela Bassett, Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson, D.B. Sweeney, Harry Lennix and Steve Harris.
"I'm honored to be part of the film that will launch Amazon Studios and to tell a story that is so important. Please don't be fooled by the title of Chi-Raq, this new Spike Lee joint will be something very special. We have assembled a stellar cast," Lee said.
The film's title comes from the nickname comparing Chicago to Iraq. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel has expressed his displeasure with the film's title but agrees that the subject matter needs to be addressed.
"I said then, and I believe, that's an important conversation to have. Given you're a great artist, while I don't support the title and I don't like the working title, the topic is a conversation that has been ignored for too long and needs to be discussed."
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