Amazon Studios acquiring Spike Lee film as its 1st release | News Entertainment

Amazon Studios acquiring Spike Lee film as its 1st release

15 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amazon Producing Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq,” With Reported December Premiere.

Amazon Studios announced that Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq,” a drama about inner-city gun violence in Chicago, will be its first original movie production with plans to debut the pic in theaters later this year. “Chi-Raq” stars Teyonah Parris (“Dear White People,” “Mad Men”) alongside Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson, Teyonah Parris, D.B. Jackson, Wesley Snipes, Angela Bassett, Nick Cannon and more, the film will revolve around the violence in inner city Chicago. “I’m honored to be part of the film that will launch Amazon Studios and to tell a story that is so important,” Lee said in a statement. “Please don’t be fooled by the title of Chi-Raq, this new Spike Lee joint will be something very special. Amazon officially confirmed the news on Wednesday. “Spike Lee is one of the most distinct and visionary filmmakers of our time,” said Ted Hope, Head of Motion Picture Production at Amazon Studios. “It would be impossible to find a better filmmaker with whom to launch our studio.

Written by Lee and Kevin Willmott (“C.S.A.: Confederate States Of America”) and directed by Lee, “Chi-Raq” was shot on location in Chicago with principal photography wrapping last week. Competitor Netflix also recently announced a bunch of upcoming original films, including: Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation starring Idris Elba, Adam Sandler’s The Ridiculous Six and the sequel Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend.

Lee’s film has sparked criticism from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and several Chicago aldermen for his decision to title it Chi-Raq, a blend of Chicago and war-torn Iraq, fearing it furthers negative stereotypes about violent crime in the city. The filmmaker has defended his movie, blasting critics for “judging from afar” without knowing anything about the film’s subject matter, and said they will “look stupid and be on the wrong side of history. “A lot of things have been said about this film by people who know nothing about the film. After its successful entry into the television market with shows like Transparent and Catastrophe, the company announced its plans to make movies for theatrical release. At the time, Amazon said it intended to make its movies available on its Prime streaming video service within a month or two after their theatrical release, compared with three months or more before most theatrical releases are available online. With its original movies, Amazon Studios’ plan is to release them theatrically first and then debut them on Prime Instant Video four to eight weeks later.

Amazon has been aggressively acquiring and creating content since 2010 in an effort to compete with Netflix Inc., whose hit original series include “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.” Amazon’s series include Golden Globe winner “Transparent” and “Alpha House,” a political comedy written by Doonesbury comic strip creator Garry Trudeau. Last month, the e-commerce giant named Bob Berney, former CEO of indie film distributor Picturehouse, has head of theatrical distribution and marketing. It has also introduced a drama called “Mozart in the Jungle” from Roman Coppola and earlier this year signed a deal with Woody Allen to create his first TV series. Given that the film is attempting to “shed light” on the violence that’s plagued some areas of Chicago, the title may take on a different meaning when it’s paired with the finished product. With creative development and production headed up by independent film visionary Ted Hope, Amazon Original Movies focuses on unique stories, voices, and characters from top and up-and-coming creators.

Amazon Instant Video offers Amazon Prime members instant access to stream tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, including award-winning Amazon Original Series, available at no additional cost. The Amazon Video app is available on hundreds of devices including Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Roku, smart TVs and Blu-ray players from Samsung, Sony, LG, and Panasonic, the Xbox, PlayStation, and Wii game consoles, as well as on mobile devices like Fire tablets, Fire phone, iPhone, iPad, and Android tablets and phones. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking.

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