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Spike Lee Talks About Making Documentary On Michael Jackson's 'Bad', 'Go Brazil Go'; 'Oldboy' Is Still Waiting For A Green Light

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist June 13, 2012 at 4:11PM

For every "Girl 6," "She Hate Me" or "Miracle at St. Anna" in filmmaker Spike Lee's oeuvre there's not only a great feature to offset it ("25th Hour," "He Got Game," "Inside Man"), but several, fantastic documentaries ("4 Little Girls," "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts" "If God Is Willing and da Creek Don't Rise") as well. One could even argue if Lee's feature career got a little uneven later in the game (which is still very debatable), his documentaries -- some of them his best work, period -- never faltered.
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Spike Lee

For every "Girl 6," "She Hate Me" or "Miracle at St. Anna" in filmmaker Spike Lee's oeuvre, there's not only a great feature to offset it ("25th Hour," "He Got Game," "Inside Man"), but several fantastic documentaries ("4 Little Girls," "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," "If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise") as well. One could even argue if Lee's feature career got a little uneven later in the game (which is still very debatable), his documentaries -- some of them his best work, period -- never faltered.

So it's great to see the always productive filmmaker has two more documentaries in the works. The first one is a 25th anniversary documentary on Michael Jackson's Bad album (remember Martin Scorsese directed that video) and another called, "Go Brazil Go" which is meant to cover Brazil's rise to economic prominence from the eyes of an outsider (Lee himself).

With his next feature, the independent drama "Red Hook Summer," arriving in theaters and VOD in August, Lee is not slowing down for a second, and has an armada of projects in the hamper, one of them even hitting Broadway: "What I'm doing now is a documentary on the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson's Bad album. I'm also doing another documentary on Brazil called 'Go Brazil Go.' I'm going to be directing Mike Tyson on Broadway later, it's a one man show,"  Lee recently told GQ.

As for his mooted remake of the South Korean contemporary classic "Oldboy," meant to shoot this fall, starring Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen and Sharlto Copley? Lee says "God willing" it will shoot in the autumn, but it's not a sealed deal as of right now. "[We're] waiting for the green light. Josh Brolin...My man from 'District 9,' Sharlto Copley. You know they're still trying to get the numbers straight, but I think it's going to happen," he said.

For those keeping score, Lee also briefly listed out all the films he attempted to make over the years, but fell apart due to lack of financing. "Well I wouldn't say one film, but I'll just list the films I tried to make over the years and have yet to get them done. Like I was on the Jackie Robinson movie for a long time and then someone else is doing that. I worked a year on a great script written by John Ridley on the LA riots, but couldn't get that financed. Worked a long time on a James Brown script, could not get that financed. Wesley Snipes was going to play the Godfather of Soul. So it's been a question of finance."

Asked about who might be the new king of pop, Lee bristled when told that Details magazine had named Adam Levine from Maroon 5 the new heir apparent. He did however, mention some of the musical artists interviewed for his MJ doc (some already rumored appear, include Chris Brown and Usher).  "Interesting thing is that we interviewed Justin Bieber for this documentary, and you know he idolizes Michael. And I love Kanye and Jay [Z] and everybody else, but there's only one Michael Jackson. So if there's only one Michael Jackson, how can anybody be the new king of pop?"

No word on a release date yet for these docs, but presumably Lee and co. want them moving and happening soon. Bad was released 25 years ago on August 31, 1987.

This article is related to: Spike Lee, Go Brazil Go, Oldboy (Remake)


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