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Spike Lee to direct ‘Prince of Cats’

A hip hop version of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ based in the ‘80s.

Spike Lee / Instagram

Spike Lee is set to direct the upcoming film Prince of Cats—hip hop’s reimagination of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, set in the 1980’s in Brooklyn, NY. The Prince of Cats script, based off the graphic novel written and illustrated by Ron Wimberly, was penned by former The Source Editor-in-Chief, Selwyn Seyfu Hinds. Now a comics writer, who contributed to Jordan Peele’s “The Twilight Zone,” The Hollywood Reporter writes that Hinds will rework his Prince of Cats script for the new film, alongside Lee.

The upcoming film will tell the iconic star-crossed love story through the eyes of Tybalt, Juliet’s antagonistic cousin. In the movie, Tybalt and his Capulet brothers navigate a world of sword-dueling in Da People’s Republic of Brooklyn, against their archenemy clan, the Montagues. Hip hop essentials—such as DJing, breakdancing and graffiti—will play key roles.

Prince Of Cats was originally published by DC Comics’ Vertigo before it was reissued by Image Comics. The film is set to be produced by Zucker Productions’ Janet and Kate Zucker with Jon Silk and Ali Mendes overseeing the project on behalf of Legendary Entertainment.

Lakeith Stanfield, who starred in the 2019 thriller, Knives Out, was originally set to be featured in Prince of Cats. However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, this is no longer the case.

Lee is currently in postproduction for his Da 5 Bloods thriller film, which stars Chadwick Boseman, Paul Walter Hauser, Jonathan Majors, Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters and Isiah Whitlock Jr. Da 5 Bloods is slated for a 2020 release.

The news of Prince of Cats follows Lee’s first Academy Award win earlier this year for his 2018 film, BlacKkKlansman. Lee was awarded Best Adapted Screenplay for the film, as well as nominated for Best Picture and Best Director. BlacKkKlansman was also nominated in four Golden Globes categories. The film additionally saw Lee’s nomination for Outstanding Feature Film by the Directors Guild of America and Best Director by the Critics Choice Awards.

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