UPDATE: A representative for Kanye West reached out with this statement:
“Contrary to published reports, Kanye West will not be starring in Chiraq. However, there are discussions for West’s possible involvement in the film’s soundtrack, schedule permitting.”
Last month rumors about Chiraq, Spike Lee’s upcoming movie for Amazon Studios, suggested that the legendary director would include Chicago natives Kanye West and Common in the cast alongside Jeremy Piven and Samuel L. Jackson. A new report from Screen Daily doesn’t mention Common or Piven but confirms that West and Jackson will be in the movie, as will Jennifer Hudson and John Cusack. Even more intriguing is the news that Lee conceived Chiraq as a musical adaptation of the Greek comedy Lysistrata, which Wiki describes as “a comic account of one woman’s extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War.” In kind, Chiraq is the story of one woman’s effort to end gang violence in Chicago. Sounds like Lee is not making the super-serious Chicago gun violence drama I was expecting.
The report indicates that the production studio IM Global is preparing to announce Chiraq at this month’s Cannes Film Festival and that it will get a theatrical release despite Amazon’s backing. (It also mentions a Marlon Wayans spoof called Fifty Shades Of Black (ugh) and Southside With You, “the romance based on President Barack Obama’s courtship of future First Lady Michelle Robinson.”)