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Spike Lee to direct Denzel Washington to adapt Kurosawa classic

Filmmaker Spike Lee will reunite with American actor Denzel Washington for his next film, an adaptation of a thriller by Japanese master Akira Kurosawa, Between Heaven and Hell (1963), which will be released in cinemas before being broadcast on Apple TV, Apple announced on Wednesday.

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Spike Lee to direct Denzel Washington to adapt Kurosawa classic

Filmmaker Spike Lee will reunite with American actor Denzel Washington for his next film, an adaptation of a thriller by Japanese master Akira Kurosawa, Between Heaven and Hell (1963), which will be released in cinemas before being broadcast on Apple TV, Apple announced on Wednesday. The original film is inspired by the true story of a kidnapping that will turn the lives of a rich family but also its driver upside down.

This is the fifth time that Spike Lee will direct Denzel Washington, after notably Malcolm X, and the breathtaking thriller Inside Man (2006). Since then, the New York director has been crowned with an honorary Oscar for his entire career and was rewarded with a statuette for best adaptation in 2019 for the film BlacKkKlansman, which tells the story of the infiltration of a cell of the Ku Klux Klan at the end of the 1970s. The film had already earned the filmmaker the Grand Prix at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

Throughout his career, punctuated by classics like Do the Right Thing (1989), Spike Lee filmed the lives of African-Americans, particularly in his Brooklyn neighborhood, and highlighted the racism they suffered in the American company. For his part, Denzel Washington was nominated ten times for the Academy Awards and won two, as best supporting actor for Glory (1990) and best actor for Training Day (2002).

Apple Original Films, which will produce their remake of Kurosawa's film in partnership with A24, has not indicated a release date. Filming is scheduled to begin in March.

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