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Spike lee denzel washington high and low adaptation

Denzel Washington & Spike Lee Reunite After 17 Years for ‘High and Low’ Remake

Years after their powerful partnership in Inside Man, Denzel Washington and Spike Lee are returning to collaborate on a modern reinterpretation of Akira Kurosawa’s groundbreaking film High and Low. Written by Alan Fox and Lee, the upcoming thriller is an English-language reinterpretation of Kurosawa’s original 1963 Japanese film, which was in turn based on Ed McBain’s novel “King’s Ransom.”

Kurosawa’s classic tells the story of a wealthy shoe executive whose elaborate corporate takeover scheme goes awry when his chauffeur’s son is mistakenly abducted for ransom instead of his own offspring. Per Deadline, the synopsis for Lee’s upcoming reimagining “follows an executive at a Yokohama shoe company who becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur’s son is kidnapped by mistake and held for ransom.”

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The equalizer denzel washington
Denzel Washington in The Equalizer | Image: Columbia Pictures

Apple Original Films and A24 have partnered up for Spike Lee’s High and Low, slated for an initial theatrical release by A24 prior to its global debut on AppleTV+. Production for the thriller is scheduled to kick off sometime in March. Apart from Denzel Washington’s involvement, further casting details remain undisclosed, and specific release dates have yet to be revealed.

After previously collaborating on Fences, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and The Equalizer series, Todd Black from Escape Artists is also teaming up again with Denzel Washington for this new project. Black will spearhead the development and production of the film, partnering with Jason Michael Berman of Mandalay Pictures.

Spike Lee will not only direct but also act as executive producer through his production company, 40 Acres And A Mule Filmworks. Joining him as executive producers are Peter Guber from Mandalay, along with Matthew Lindner, Chris Brigham, and Katia Washington from Juniper Productions. Additionally, Jordan Moldo from Mandalay will serve as co-producer.

Spike lee and denzel washington
Spike Lee and Denzel Washington on the set of Inside Man (2006) | Image: Universal

Lee and Washington first joined forces for the 1990s music dramedy Mo’ Better Blues, launching a successful collaboration spanning over three decades and seven films. Washington starred as Bleek Gilliam, a trumpeter whose bad decisions led him to jeopardise both his relationships and his music-playing career. However, the duo’s most celebrated work together is arguably the epic biographical film Malcolm X (1992), for which Washington also won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor.

The pair continued their partnership with He Got Game and Inside Man, showcasing their on-screen chemistry and ability to bring complex characters to life. Lee’s adaptation of High and Low will also mark Washington’s second collaboration with Apple Original Films, following The Tragedy of Macbeth, both produced by A24.