Spike Lee to direct ‘L.A. Riots’


It is no surprise that Spike Lee would be the one set to tackle a film based on the April 1992 Los Angeles riots. Lee has never shied from a challenge and I have heard nothing but good things about his HBO documentary “When the Levees Broke” which I have unfortunately not been able to see as of yet.

Lee, Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment are teaming for L.A. Riots with John Ridley aboard to pen the script. The riots, which followed the acquittal by a white jury of four police officers who were videotaped beating black motorist Rodney King, caused the death of 55 people, thousands of injuries and close to $1 billion in damage.

“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 told Variety.

A telling quote follows that one up in Variety as Lee recounts the day it all happened:

“The day the riot happened was the very first time that Terry Semel and Bob Daly saw ‘Malcolm X,’ when they were running Warner Bros.,” Lee said. “All the things Malcolm X was talking about were happening. Assistants were running into the room, passing them notes. ‘Do you want us to order a helicopter to come into the studio to get you home?’ You could see it in their faces, watching this movie, wondering if L.A. was burning down, and if the world was coming to an end.

“I have to give credit to Bob and Terry, because I know they wanted to leave but they stayed and saw my first cut, which was about three hours and 45 minutes,” Lee said. “I don’t know how they got home, whether it was by helicopter or by car, but they ran out of the screening room. It was very scary.”

Lee was in no mood to hang around, either.

“I went straight to LAX, and my ass was on the red eye,” he said.

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Weekend: Nov. 22, 2018, Nov. 25, 2018

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