Spike Lee Movie Chiraq Called an 'Insult'

Spike Lee

Spike Lee Movie Chiraq Called an 'Insult'

Chicago alderman criticizes title of upcoming flick rumored to star Common, Kanye West, Samuel L. Jackson.

Published April 11, 2015

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Spike Lee is gearing up to make his next movie for Amazon Studios and is courting some big names to star in the project.

According to The Wrap, Lee is pursuing Samuel L. Jackson, Common, Kanye West and Jeremy Piven for the ensemble cast of Chiraq.


Plot details are air tight, but it is common knowledge that the term "Chiraq" is an alias for the city of Chicago as, within recent years, it has become increasingly plagued by gun violence. Before Lee gets the project off the ground, however, South Side Ald. Anthony Beale is already objecting to the title. According to CBS Chicago, he wants Lee to change the name because the moniker evokes images of "rampant violence."

"That's an insult to the city of Chicago," he said. "I don't care what he changes [the name] to, but not that one."


Though none of the actors being considered have solid deals in place just yet, two of them are from Chicago: West and Piven. Jackson, another actor eyed to cameo in the film, has worked with Lee on several projects before, including Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever.

Both Piven's and Jackson's involvement are currently in question as both are set to be in production for other movie projects during the filming of Chiraq; Piven will be shooting another season of Mr. Selfridge and Jackson is currently filming Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight, and is scheduled to shoot Avengers: Age of Ultron right after.

Yeezy is said to be looking to increase his profile in the world of film, having previously made a cameo on Anchorman 2 and is currently filming a role in Ben Stiller's Zoolander sequel with with Kim Kardashian. Common, who recently won an Oscar for his musical involvement in Selma, may be currently seen co-starring in Run all Night.

No word as yet on when the film is set to begin or finish production.

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 (Photo: Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

Written by Moriba Cummings


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