Amazon has reportedly signed up Kanye West to star in a Spike Lee-directed film set in Chicago.
Said to bear the working title of Chiraq, the film may co-star Samuel L Jackson and Jeremy Piven alongside West and Common, another rapper turned actor.
Any solid info about Chiraq is currently shrouded in mystery, but it’s expected to be set in Chicago. ‘Chiraq’ – a fusion of Chicago and Iraq – is a nickname for the Illinois city, of which both Yeezy and Common are natives. The shopping giant is said to have obtained exclusive rights to Lee’s next film as it continues its increasingly pricey war of attrition against chief rival Netflix.
While no sums have been discussed, this would the latest set of big names Amazon has landed since tapping up Ridley Scott and Woody Allen to executive produce and direct The Man In the High Castle and a still-to-be-named original series.
Amazon’s Prime Instant Video, now finally available on regular Android tablets, has gone from strength to strength in recent months with shows like Transparent raking in plaudits.
At the time of writing, representatives for both Spike Lee and all of the rumoured actors on board have declined to comment, and Amazon reps are remaining equally tight-lipped, so we suspect they’re holding back ahead of a big announcement.
Jeremy Piven is currently filming the next series of ITV’s Mr. Selfridge, whilst Samuel L. Jackson is up to his elbows in Quentin Tarantino’s much-anticipated Hateful Eight, so filming of Chiraq seems to hinge on everyone synchronising their diaries. With Common still riding high from his Oscar win for his role in Selma, we’re guessing it’s something that Amazon will want to get done in a timely fashion.