Spike Lee and Denzel Washington are teaming up for the fifth time, reimagining Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 crime drama High and Low.

The pair, whose previous projects include Malcolm X and He Got Game, will start filming a reinterpretation in March. Based on the novel King’s Ransom by Ed McBain, the original film stars Toshiro Mifune as a wealthy man in ruin after paying the ransom for a kidnapping.

The story also served as the inspiration for Steven Soderbergh’s 2023 miniseries Full Circle. In 2008, it was reported that Martin Scorsese would be developing a remake scripted by David Mamet but that never came to fruition.

Lee has previously spoken about his admiration for Kurosawa, claiming that his 1986 comedy She’s Gotta Have It was influenced by Rashomon. When asked about career longevity last year, Lee said: “Kurosawa was 86! I got to at least get to Kurosawa.”

Kurosawa’s work has been remade before multiple times, most recently with 2022’s Living, a new take on Ikiru, starring Bill Nighy, who received an Oscar nomination.

The remake will be released theatrically by A24 before heading to Apple TV+, following a similar route to The Tragedy of Macbeth, which scored Washington a best actor Oscar nomination.

The script will be penned by Alan Fox, a former college basketball player and model turned playwright. Fox also appeared in the Taylor Swift video Fifteen. His script Queens of the Stoned Age, about a model who becomes a weed dealer, is set up at Sony with Dakota Johnson pegged to star.

Washington was recently seen in The Equalizer 3, which made $191m worldwide. This year will also see him star alongside Paul Mescal in Gladiator 2 for director Ridley Scott.

Lee’s last film was 2020’s Da 5 Bloods. His last film with Washington was the 2006 thriller Inside Man.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here