Spike’s “Chi-Raq” To Open In December

Spike Lee‘s “Chi-Raq” will kick off Amazon Studios’ film slate with an awards-qualifying run in December, The Hollywood Reporter has learned, a bold move as the streamer moves into the original movie space. Amazon Studios confirmed to THR that it is backing the film after the company’s involvement had been rumored for months. Lee wrapped shooting last week in Chicago. “Chi-Raq” was originally planned for a world premiere at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, if accepted, but Lee and Amazon are so high on the project that they’re now hoping for a spot in this year’s awards race, insiders say. “Chi-Raq,” an update of of the classical Greek play “Lysistrata,” stars Teyonah Parris as a woman who protests black-on-black gun violence by going on a sex strike. It draws its title from the nickname comparing Chicago to Iraq, and has already sparked controversy. (City elders, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, weren’t happy about the name.) Starring alongside Parris are Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson, D.B. Sweeney, Harry Lennix, Steve Harris, Angela Bassett, John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson.

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