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Over the course of his career, Spike Lee has been an experimental filmmaker -- never limiting himself in terms of tone, genre, or medium. He's directed not only numerous comedies and dramas, but also multiple documentaries, shorts, concert films, stand-up specials, Broadway plays, and more. There's very little that he hasn't tried, but there is one particular genre he has a lot of interest in, as I recently learned:
Oh yeah. I'm going to do a musical one day, for sure. I mean, there are many musical elements in my films already, but this one I want to do straight out singing and dancing, beginning-to-end high-stepping, wailing musical.
Spike Lee is having an awesome 2018 thanks to the release of the critically-acclaimed BlacKkKlansman, and with the new film now arriving on home video I had the immense pleasure of hopping on the phone with him earlier this month. At the very end of my interview I made a note of the fact that he has dabbled in all areas of directing/filmmaking, and asked if there was any other kind of project that he would love to try. It was with zero hesitation that he brought up his ambition to make a musical -- and it sounds like what he has in mind would be no rinky-dink affair.
As noted by Spike Lee, many of his movies he has already made have powerful and impactful soundtracks, concert scenes, and even some dance sequences -- looking specifically at titles like School Daze and Chi-Raq -- but it sounds like Lee's ambitions in this case go beyond what we've already seen from the director. It sounds like he wants characters breaking from dramatic situations by busting out into song and joining friends in giant choreographed dance routines totally removed from reality. And is there anyone out there who doesn't want to see him try that?
What makes Spike Lee's comments especially interesting is the fact that the movie industry is actually in the midst of a notable boom for this genre, with audiences responding in a big way to films with a major music component. The past three years have seen three big titles in this category hit theaters - Michael Gracey's The Greatest Showman, Bradley Cooper's A Star Is Born, and Bryan Singer's Bohemian Rhapsody -- and they've all been massive box office hits. Lee has some real heat right now, with BlacKkKlansman standing as the second biggest hit of his career, and doing a full-blown musical might be the perfect way to capitalize.
But what exactly would the musical be? It's really impossible to say. Fitting in with the picture painted of Spike Lee above, the new project could be an original creation of Lee's own imagination, or it could just as easily be an adaptation of a story he's always been curious about. We'll just have to wait and see what awaits us in this arena.
While we wait to see what the future holds for Spike Lee, audiences everywhere can now enjoy his most recent success over and over again. Following its impressive theatrical run during the summer, BlacKkKlansman is now available for purchase, both digitally and on Blu-ray and DVD. Be sure to pick up a copy -- and be on the lookout for more from my interview with the director in the coming days here on CinemaBlend!