Jeffrey Wright Cast in Spike Lee’s Upcoming ‘High and Low,’ Kurosawa’s Reboot

Jeffrey Wright Cast in Spike Lee’s Upcoming ‘High and Low,’ Kurosawa’s Reboot

© Photo credit: Claire Folger © 2023 Orion Releasing LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Jeffrey Wright, who received a spate of awards for his starring role in American Fiction, will be joining Denzel Washington and Ilfenesh Hadera in Spike Lee’s upcoming film High and Low. It’s unclear what role Wright will be playing in the movie, which is to be an English-language reboot of Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 crime flick.

The screenplay will be written by Lee and Alan Fox. With filming to begin this month, High and Low is being produced by A24, Escape Artists, and Mandalay Pictures. Lee will also be an executive producer via his 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, joined by Todd Black from Escape Artists; Michael Berman from Mandalay; and Matthew Lindner, Chris Brigham, and Katia Washington from Juniper Productions. A24 will launch the film in theaters before its eventual  debut on Apple TV+.

Kurosawa’s original film was loosely based on King’s Ransom, a 1959 novel by Evan Hunter using the pen name of Ed McBain. It told the story of a shoe-company businessman who becomes the victim of an extortion plot when his chauffeur’s son is mistakenly kidnapped and held for ransom.

For his performance in American Fiction, Wright garnered nominations for an Academy Award as well as for the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice, and SAG awards. He played the role of Theolonius “Monk” Ellison, an aspiring novelist trying to counter racial stereotyping. Other film credits for the acclaimed actor include Basquiat, Rustin, The French Dispatch, Asteroid City, and The Batman.

High and Low will mark the fifth collaboration between Denzel Washington and Spike Lee. Washington had earlier appeared in Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues, Malcolm X, He Got Game, and Inside Man.

Spike Lee, who turns 67 today, has been one of the most prolific Black auteurs of his generation, having made numerous films focused on the African American experience, including Do the Right Thing, She’s Gotta Have It, and Bamboozled.

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