The first trailer for Spike Lee’s latest joint has landed online, and it’s certainly something. Chi-Raq is a modern day adaptation of the Greek comedy play “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes, with Lee moving the action to Chicago to tell the story of a group of women who organize against the on-going violence in Chicago’s Southside. The ensuing movement challenges the nature of race, sex, and violence in America and around the world.
Not only is Lee adapting a classic play, but Chi-Raq is taking a unique route to release—it’s an Amazon Studios production and will be released theatrically by Amazon and Roadside Attractions. As for the film, Lee has assembled an incredibly diverse cast here that includes Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Hudson, Wesley Snipes, Nick Cannon, Angela Bassett, John Cusack, and even an appearance by Dave Chappelle.
It’s tough to parse out the quality of the film based on this debut trailer, and the fact that Lee hasn’t made a good film in a long while doesn’t foster great confidence sight-unseen. But there’s still hope that some day he’ll have another 25th Hour or Do the Right Thing in him. Will Chi-Raq be it? We’ll find out next month.
Watch the trailer below, via IMDb. Written by Lee and Kevin Willmott, the film also stars Teyonah Parris, D.B. Sweeney, Harry Lennix, and Steve Harris. Chi-Raq opens in theaters on December 4th.
Here’s the official synopsis for Chi-Raq:
Chi-Raq is a modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes. After the murder of a child by a stray bullet, a group of women led by Lysistrata organize against the on-going violence in Chicago’s Southside creating a movement that challenges the nature of race, sex and violence in America and around the world.