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From She’s Gotta Have It to BlacKkKlansman, film director and producer Spike Lee is known for bringing powerful films to the big screen. For one of his latest projects, Lee will put his own spin on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Deadline reported.

The film—dubbed Prince of Cats—is inspired by a novel penned by author Ronald Wimberly. The graphic novel, which was released in 2012, intertwines 80s hip-hop culture with the Shakespeare classic. “Prince of Cats is the B side to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, played at an eighties block party in a NY where underground sword dueling blossomed alongside hip-hop, punk, disco and no wave,” read the book’s description. “It’s the story of the minor players with Tybalt at the center. Like Shakespeare’s originals, Prince of Cats implements various formalist restraints.” The film is being produced under Legendary Entertainment. Lee, Wimberly, and Selwyn Sefyu Hinds will write the screenplay and Janet and Kate Zucker will serve as producers.

For Lee, his work is all about representation on the screen and behind the camera and evolving the culture. “For sure, my films have affected the culture. People still tell me they would never have gone to a historically black school if they hadn’t seen School Daze. I do know my art’s going to be around a long time after I’m gone. That’s all you can hope for. That your life made an impact. In a positive way,” he said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “I remember the first time I showed She’s Gotta Have It in L.A. After the film, a young filmmaker by the name of John Singleton came up to me. He said, “I’m gonna make films just like you.” And he did.”

One of his next films Da 5 Bloods captures the journey of Vietnam veterans. It stars Chadwick Boseman, Jonathan Majors, and Paul Walter Hauser and is slated to be released in 2020.


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