Director Malcolm D. Lee is probably best known for 1999’s “The Best Man,” its sequel “The Best Man Holiday” and the comedy hit “Girls Trip.” But the 49-year-old director has continued to find his niche between comedy and drama thanks to an upcoming action-comedy called “The Spoils.” According to Deadline, the project was picked up by Lionsgate and it’ll be produced through Blackmaled Productions.
The story follows a group of immigrants who come to the realization that the London Museum holds their home countries’ most prized artifacts. This causes them to plan an extensive heist to recover the stolen items and return them to their rightful locations. In a rare occasion, immigrants act as the “illegal” heroes of the story who operate for a noble cause to take back what’s rightfully theirs.
Trump would not approve.
The concept for “The Spoils” reflects a growing conversation around a museum’s right to house certain artifacts from other countries, especially items that might’ve been forcefully removed. The debate was reignited recently thanks to a “Black Panther” scene where Michael B. Jordan‘s character, Kilmonger, challenges a white British museum employee about an artifact housed in the museum. “How do you think your ancestors got these?” Kilmonger asked. “Do you think they paid a fair price? Or did they take it… like they took everything else?”
Since the movie premiered, various articles have brought attention to problematic museum restitution. The British Museum serves as one example, which faced calls from Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments to return the Benin Bronzes looted by British soldiers during the 1897 raid.
It seems like “The Spoil” will unabashedly take on such issues. The screenplay will be written by Roshan Sethi and Hayley Schore, who wrote “The Resident” for Fox and “Code Black” for TBS. Schore also wrote “The Black Box” for ABC and the two were recently brought in by Universal/Working Title and Chadwick Boseman to write the true story of astrophysicist Hakeem Oluseyi. The pair is also developing a thriller series for TriStar based on the novel “The Forgotten Girl” and a limited series based on astronaut Sally Ride for Sony/USA.
Clearly, the two are high in demand.
Meanwhile, Blackmaled Productions is also developing a project starring Viola Davis based on the Terry McMillan novel “I Almost Forgot About You.” Malcolm D. Lee also continues to stay busy. He’s preparing for a follow-up to “The Best Man Holiday” called “The Best Man Wedding,” although he’s been met with some delays. He also recently replaced director Terence Nance to helm “Space Jam 2.”
Blackmaled executive Adam Haiken will oversee “The Spoils” project along with executives from Lionsgate studio.