It seems like a big budget Hollywood film about the 1992 L.A. Riots was almost destined to happen, and who better to take on this monster of a film than one of the most prolific African-American filmmakers out there -- Spike Lee. The director will once again be teaming up with Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment (he also worked with them on Inside Man) to bring this true-life tragedy, simply called L.A. Riots, to the big screen.
While the director is also hard at work on an Inside Man sequel, it appears Universal is making L.A. Riots its top priority, as they want the script (which is being written by Undercover Brother's John Ridley) in their hands before Christmas. As most of you are probably already aware, the 1992 riots were sparked when four white police officers were acquitted of beating up black motorist Rodney King, even though the entire event was captured on videotape. The subsequent riots in Los Angeles caused the death of 55 people, along with thousands of injuries and a whopping $1 billion in damages. Yeah, it was a pretty big deal and, at the time, I was happy I wasn't in L.A. On how he plans to approach the touchy subject, Lee said: "This isn't about some cavalcade of stars, but rather a truthful and realistic examination of what happened, what the ramifications were and where we are now, in hopes that something like this doesn't happen again."
Lee was actually in L.A. during the riots, as he was screening an early cut of Malcolm X. What did he do? "I went straight to LAX, and my ass was on the red eye." It should be interesting to see how this film turns out, and whether or not it will be nominated for an Oscar before production even begins. Ya know, Hollywood's way of saying, "We're so sorry this happened, but here's a shiny gold statue for you to put above the fireplace." And since they're demanding a script right away, could they be itching to get this puppy into theaters late next year? If that's the case, then it's going to be awhile before Inside Man 2 sees the light of day.