Now that Spike Lee’s banked some studio goodwill courtesy of the mainstream success of March’s heist thriller Inside Man (not to mention his well-received Hurricane Katrina doc for HBO), the director is returing to more familiar (read: controversial) ground: He’s teaming with Inside producer Brian Grazer on a drama about the 1992 L.A. riots following the Rodney King trial. Currently being written by John Ridley (Undercover Brother), the script is expected before the end of the year and may very well be Spike’s next project (the other option is a sequel – his first! – to Inside Man).
Personally, I think the collaboration is an excellent match-up. While Lee’s films of the past five years have been hit-or-miss (She Hate Me being a particular low), this project seems brimming with Do the Right Thing potential and significance. Plus, there’s no way the film can be any worse than The L.A. Riot Spectacular, a truly atrocious movie I saw at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival that featured, among other things, Jonathan Lipnicki as a tween white supremacist and George Hamilton as the “voice” of L.A. Now that was painful.