Spike Lee will direct 80’s hip-hop version of Romeo & Juliet in Prince of Cats

Spike Lee Prince of Cats
Source: Spike Lee | Wikimedia Commons

Spike Lee is going back in time to the 1980s to spear-head Prince of Cats as his next labor of love.

This project is a unique take on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that is set during the 1980s hip-hop revolution. After directing his last feature, BlacKkKlansman, Lee is set to team up with Legendary to develop this live-action adaptation of the Ron Wimberly graphic novel.

This endeavor will still focus around the star-crossed lovers’ tragic story but is seen and told in the eyes of a character named Tybalt, Juliet’s aggressive and skirmishing enthusiast cousin. The story follows Tybalt and his brothers who go through Da People’s Republic of Brooklyn, a rich and vibrant world where underground sword-fights (with katanas!) are rampant and hip-hop culture is rich.

Selwyn Seyfu Hinds developed the first draft of the graphic novel that was re-issued by Image Comics after Vertigo published it first. Hinds lends his know-how about hip-hop culture through his experience as editor-in-chief of The Source, a magazine that features hip-hop music, culture, and politics. Hinds is also a comedy writer, having worked an episode of The Twilight Zone with Jordan Peele.

BlacKkKlansman is about Ron Stallworth, the first African-American detective that served in the Colorado Springs Police Department. He sets off trying to make a name for himself by going on the perilous mission to infiltrate and take down the Ku Klux Klan. Along the way, Stallworth manages to get Flip Zimmerman, a seasoned vet to go undercover with him. The two team up to expose the white supremacist extremists to further their agenda on the mainstream. The success of BlacKkKlansman got Lee back on the radars of many Hollywood studios after bagging an Oscar for best-adapted screenplay and being nominated in other categories like best director and best picture. Right now, Lee is in the latter stages of making the upcoming war-drama thriller Da 5 Bloods starring Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War & Endgame), Paul Walter Hauser (Kingdom, I, Tonya), and Delroy Lindo (Gone in 60 Seconds, Chicago Code).

Working on Prince of Cats lets Lee go back to his roots by creating a story with his love for Brooklyn, having been the primary setting in most of his works like Jungle Fever, Crooklyn, Clockers, and Red Hook Summer

Prince of Cats will be directed by Lee, with the screenplay going to be developed by himself, Wimberly, and Hinds in a collaborative effort with Kate and Janet Zucker of Zucker Productions producing the film.