Spike Lee (Inside Man), a director who always seems to draw strong opinions no matter what he does, is closing a deal to direct another controversial project: Nagasaki Deadline, a thriller about an FBI agent and “his desperate race to thwart two terrorist attacks planned to unfold on American soil.” The agent must race against the clock as “the Fed goes beyond obvious suspects to focus on theories that the crime is tied to historical events.”
David and Peter Griffiths scripted the story at least a decade ago, but the film was scrapped after 9-11, when it was deemed too controversial. Alcon Entertainment revived the project, had it rewritten, and hired Martin Campbell (Edge of Darkness) to direct, but Campbell left to direct Green Lantern. Lee, no doubt drawn by the smell of controversy, swooped in.
Lee will begin shooting Nagasaki Deadline next year with producing partners Andrew Ksove and Broderick Johson, along with Lightstorm Entertainment – James Cameron‘s production company – although Deadline is reporting that the Avatar director will be too busy to take a producer’s credit.
This will be Lee’s first feature film since 2008’s Miracle at St. Anna. Personally, I’m glad the director is taking a break from documentaries to make another feature film; his 2006 Inside Man was one of the best thrillers of the year, and I’d like to see Lee prove once again that he’s one of the most creative directors in Hollywood. Yes, I’m sure the film will involve racial politics – so what? Asking Lee to somehow avoid dealing with race in his movies is as pointless as asking Wes Anderson to write mumblecore, or Sofia Coppola to make films about poor people – it’s not going to happen. In any case, I’m certainly looking forward to seeing a Spike Lee Joint in theaters again; hopefully audiences will be too.