Spike Lee’s true life drama BlacKkKlansman, starring John David Washington, Adam Driver and Laura Harrier, has received a summer release date from Focus Features. Lee co-wrote the script with David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel and Kevin Willmott based on the book by Ron Stallworth.
BlacKkKlansman tells the true story of Stallworth (Washington), who began as Colorado Springs’s first African-American police officer, then later rose to the rank of detective. In one of the most unlikely cases of undercover infiltration imaginable, Stallworth and his partner Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) penetrated the ranks of the KKK at the highest levels in order to thwart the organization’s attempt to take over the city. Topher Grace and Corey Hawkins also star in the drama, in which Spike Lee “uses his trademark take-no-prisoner style and humor to tell this story often missing from the history books.”
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Focus Features announced that BlacKkKlansman will now release on August 10. The release coincides with the one-year anniversary of last year’s Charlottesville incident, when a white supremacist protest against the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue erupted in violence, claiming the life of counter-protester Heather Heyer on August 11, 2017. In addition to the release announcement, Spike Lee also posted a picture of some movie-related merchandise on his Instagram. See the image below:
BlacKkKlansman marks Lee’s first theatrically released fiction film since Chi-Raq, which received mixed reviews when it came out in 2015. Last year Lee brought his debut feature She’s Gotta Have It back to life as a Netflix series starring DeWanda Wise. A second season of the show has already been ordered by Netflix. In March it was also reported that Lee and Luke Cage creator Cheo Hodari Coker will collaborate on Sony’s Spider-Man spin-off Nightwatch.
Before he makes the leap into the comic book movie world, Lee will unleash a more typical hard-hitting, topical film in BlacKkKlansman. Of course, one never knows how things will turn out when Lee takes on timely, controversial material. Sometimes he comes up with memorable movies like his seminal classic Do the Right Thing or his epic biopic Malcolm X. And sometimes he comes up with befuddling concoctions like Bamboozled or Chi-Raq. Seldom does Lee ever release a movie that does not prove divisive and sometimes anger-inducing.
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Focus Features themselves must not think BlacKkKlansman will be much of an awards season player if they’re releasing it in August. But then, when was the last time a Lee movie actually was an awards player?
Source: Focus Features, Spike Lee