Universal Pictures has greenlighted Spike Lee’s next project, “Crooklyn, N.Y. ,” sources confirmed yesterday.

The film, a 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks production, marks the first “go” pic for the writer/producer/director since he signed his multiyear production deal with Universal last September.

It’s also his first film since “Malcolm X,” released in November.

Budgeted under $ 15 million, “Crooklyn, N.Y.” will begin shooting this summer on location in New York and will be released by Universal in summer of 1994.

Written by Lee — who will also have a small part in the film — and his sister, Joie Lee, “Crooklyn, N.Y.” has been described as a semi-autobiographical family comedy about children growing up in Brooklyn during the 1970s.

“This will be perceived as a radical change of pace for Spike,” said one source. “It’s totally different than anything else he has done. This is a movie that is neither angry nor confrontational.”

Although the rest of the creative elements have not been officially put into place, a source speculated that Lee will probably call on the talents of most of the key people he has worked with on previous films, including line producer Jon Kilik and cinematographer Ernest Dickerson.

Under terms of Lee’s agreement with Universal, the studio gets a first look at all film projects developed by Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks. The agreement covers Lee’s services as a writer, director, producer and actor.

Popular on Variety