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Spike Talks About "Miracle" And M.J. Documentary

Today at the Cannes Film Festival, Spike Lee discussed his latest film, Miracle at St. Anna, with the press. Amongst several other topics, he mentioned his struggles in getting the film funded, stating that he had to finance the film with foreign money, since, apparently, there wasn't much interest from Hollywood studios, despite the fact that his last studio picture, Inside Man, was a box office success globally.

Read the press release below for more, and a teaser about an upcoming Michael Jordan documentary that Spike has in the works! Miracle at St. Anna hits theatres in October.


Director Spike Lee hit the Croisette Tuesday unveiling his latest project, "Miracle at St. Anna," based on a screenplay by James McBride, the author of the novel of the same name. The feature chronicles the story of four African-American soldiers who are members of the U.S. Army's all-black 92nd "Buffalo Soldier" division that fought against the fascists and Nazis during World War II. Lee is in Cannes to sell international rights to the film, which Touchstone will release in the United States.

"It's faithful to historic fact, but a large part of the film is about faith and miracles," said Lee about the film. "It's a miracle this film was ever made and it's a miracle that I'm a filmmaker." Lee, who describes "Miracle at St. Anna" as an "Italian film" - 95% of the crew were Italian and most of the movie was shot in Tuscany and Rome - lamented the Hollywood process, saying he had to go outside the studios to get the movie filmed. "It was like dangling a carrot in front of a horse. My film 'Inside Man' made $300 million and I thought it would be easier to get money for my next film [laughs], but that didn't happen... So I was discouraged with the Hollywood system, and decided to go to Italy." He was then able to get financing for the $40 million project.

Lee added, "There will be subtitles. We won't have Nazis speaking English, and Italians will be speaking Italian." Asked if the film touches on the subject of the mistreatment of African-Americans in the U.S. military during WWII, Lee said the film is not primarily focused on troop segregation, but does broach the topic...

... Lee will return to the United States for his next project, which he quickly mentioned as the discussion was concluding in Cannes. "Here's a scoop for you, I'm doing a feature-length documentary on Michael Jordan. And I'll be back next year [with it] in Cannes if we get in. And even if we don't, I'll screen it anyway..."



  1. UK Black Chick aka Wendy said...

    Hmm... This really does give cause for thought (and concern)...

    Granted, the topic isn't quite what I'd expect Hollywood to fall over itself to finance but, still, it's not like Spike's some unknown they'd have to take a huge chance on.

    Maybe if he'd got Will Smith to star...?

  2. The Obenson Report said...

    I'm not surprised he still has problems attracting studio money for his projects. There are even bigger names who still have problems attracting studio interest. I think he'll always have problems, unless he enjoys a string of box office hits, one after another, like some of his fellow directors. One profitable hit every now and then just doesn't cut it apparently. Or he can start making super low budget films (relatively speaking) like Tyler Perry does, so that they don't have to make as much money to be profitable. Or, as you said, make Will Smith his muse, and put him in every film!!

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