Spike Lee puts new lens on WWII

Film to focus on plight of black soldiers

Spike Lee engaged the Italian press with some anti-Hollywood ranting as he unveiled his WWII project about the plight of black American soldiers fighting the German army in Tuscany.

“If you look at the history of Hollywood, the black soldiers who fought WWII are totally invisible,” Lee lashed out during a packed press conference in Rome’s posh Hotel de Russie on Tuesday.

“This is the paradox: black people who were fighting for democracy but at the same time were second-class citizens at home.”

The previously announced drama is based on U.S. author James McBride’s novel “Miracle at St. Anna.”

Also on hand at the press event were 82-year-old WWII vet William Perry, a member of the Buffalo Soldiers unit that fought the Nazis in Italy, and Moreno Costa, an Italian anti-fascist partisan who fought alongside Italy’s American liberators.

Perry said his 15,000-strong Buffalo Soldiers battalion suffered 3,000 casualties in Italy.

Lee was in Rome en route to scouting Tuscan locations for the $45 million drama, for which producers Roberto Cicutto and Luigi Musini are still in talks to secure financing. Neither Italian nor international distributors are yet in place.

No news emerged regarding casting, beyond that there are four protag parts for black American male stars and roles for top German and Italian actors.

The crew will be largely Italian, Lee said. A second draft of the script penned by McBride is completed.

Plan is to start shooting early next year in New York, Tuscany and Rome’s Cinecitta Studios.

More Film

  • Amazon Studios Head of Motion Picture

    Amazon Studios Head of Film Production Ted Hope to be Honored by Locarno Festival

    Spike Lee engaged the Italian press with some anti-Hollywood ranting as he unveiled his WWII project about the plight of black American soldiers fighting the German army in Tuscany. “If you look at the history of Hollywood, the black soldiers who fought WWII are totally invisible,” Lee lashed out during a packed press conference in […]

  • netflix-logo

    Netflix Picks up Kim Jee-woon's 'Wolf Brigade' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Spike Lee engaged the Italian press with some anti-Hollywood ranting as he unveiled his WWII project about the plight of black American soldiers fighting the German army in Tuscany. “If you look at the history of Hollywood, the black soldiers who fought WWII are totally invisible,” Lee lashed out during a packed press conference in […]

  • Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

    Film Review: 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again'

    Spike Lee engaged the Italian press with some anti-Hollywood ranting as he unveiled his WWII project about the plight of black American soldiers fighting the German army in Tuscany. “If you look at the history of Hollywood, the black soldiers who fought WWII are totally invisible,” Lee lashed out during a packed press conference in […]

  • Rose Byrne

    Film News Roundup: Rose Byrne in Talks to Join Tiffany Haddish's 'Limited Partners'

    Spike Lee engaged the Italian press with some anti-Hollywood ranting as he unveiled his WWII project about the plight of black American soldiers fighting the German army in Tuscany. “If you look at the history of Hollywood, the black soldiers who fought WWII are totally invisible,” Lee lashed out during a packed press conference in […]

  • Cher and Meryl Streep'Mamma Mia! Here

    How the Cast of 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' Geeked Out Around Cher

    Spike Lee engaged the Italian press with some anti-Hollywood ranting as he unveiled his WWII project about the plight of black American soldiers fighting the German army in Tuscany. “If you look at the history of Hollywood, the black soldiers who fought WWII are totally invisible,” Lee lashed out during a packed press conference in […]

  • 'BuyBust' Review

    Film Review: ‘BuyBust’

    Spike Lee engaged the Italian press with some anti-Hollywood ranting as he unveiled his WWII project about the plight of black American soldiers fighting the German army in Tuscany. “If you look at the history of Hollywood, the black soldiers who fought WWII are totally invisible,” Lee lashed out during a packed press conference in […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content