Spike Lee, a man with his finger on multiple pulses, is the latest big-name, big-brain, sometime-Hollywood director to throw up his hands at the current state of the industry and decide that he might as well get his money from somewhere else: in this case, as in many others, Kickstarter, where he's been supported by arguably the figurehead of the emerging ex-industry malcontents, Steven Soderbergh.
Lee has even pledged to go one step further than other figures who are employing Kickstarter, in an attempt to answer the (pretty powerful, if we're honest) criticism that Kickstarter is great for established creators but not much use for those yet to make a name for themselves. To counter this Lee pledges to plough profit from the project back into filmmaking, by using it to support the Kickstarter projects of young, unknown creators. This seems like a pretty good move, and it's typical of someone as socially conscious as Lee, though one has to wonder how much profit a Spike Lee Kickstarter movie is ever really going to make. Still, that's not Lee's fault, and his desire to give back admirable—you can see him explain that below.
As for what the film he's going to make is actually about, Lee's lips are sealed, but he recently sat down with Black & Sexy TV to talk over a few things. Notably, Lee reveals he has a script for “School Daze,” his 1988 sophomore feature: the follow-up would take place in the now-present, 25 years on. "Hopefully I can get Laurence Fishburne to play Dap... he'll be the president now of the school. It would deal with issues in HSBCUs today... some of the same stuff from the last film... like the pledging process... but also lots of new stuff... like homophobia... it's a big subject in it... class issues, color, hair texture... but it's stuff happening today," he explained.
And it seems that's not the only iron in the fire. Paul Schrader has revealed he has reached out to Lee regarding another intriguing project. “I said, ‘Spike, you and I should do a film about Clarence Thomas. I’ll write it, you direct it. Clarence Thomas is probably the most complex and interesting black power figure in America today," Schrader said at the New York premiere of "The Canyons" yesterday. "But if either one of us did it alone, it wouldn’t have as much strength to it. But we should do this together.’ Now when that comes up, and a project starts to have a kind of heat to it, then you say ‘Well we could crowd finance this too.’”
Again a tantalizing prospect but still a way off. For now, Lee's remake of “Oldboy” (now pushed to a November 25th release date) and his Kickstarter movie (which he's still keeping under wraps, for the most part) are what's next. But do any of these possible ventures hold any interest? [Shadow & Act/The Dissolve] —additional reporting by Kevin Jagernauth