Spike Lee will direct Chadwick Boseman in a new Netflix film called Da 5 Bloods. Boseman has barely had the chance to catch his breath since appearing as Black Panther in the Marvel hero’s first standalone feature last year. Fittingly enough, both he and Lee will be present at this year’s Oscars, with Lee nominated for best director for his work on BlacKkKlansman.
Boseman on the other hand, will be waiting (and hoping) that Black Panther can come away with the best picture Oscar. Having previously praised Black Panther and its director Ryan Coogler for moving the goal line in terms of black filmmaking, Lee has also acknowledged that his own filmmaking will benefit from Black Panther’s phenomenal success to date. As is typically the case with Lee’s films, last year’s release of BlacKkKlansman brought with it a certain level of controversy. This time, however, the controversy was beneficial to Lee as the Do The Right Thing director scored his first certified hit since 2006’s Inside Man.
Win or lose at this year’s Oscars, both Lee and Boseman will be eager to use their current acclaim to move on to the next project. Variety has revealed that for Lee, this means a new film called Da 5 Bloods, in which Boseman will star and which Netflix is currently in talks to distribute. Lee plans to write the script alongside Kevin Willmott, his writing partner on BlacKkKlansman. The script will be a reboot of sorts, with Da 5 Bloods being based on the 1988 script for The Wrong Guys by Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo.
There isn't much known about how Lee’s script will differ from the original, other than confirmation that the story will follow a group of Vietnam veterans who return to the jungle in order to “find their lost innocence.” The Wrong Guys was a comedy, so it'll be interesting to see where Lee decides to take his story, as well as how Boseman would potentially handle a comedic role.
It’s also worth noting that should Lee succeed in acquiring the backing of Netflix, this'll be the veteran director’s first film with the streaming giant. Lee served as executive producer on the She’s Gotta Have It TV series, but that has been the extent of his involvement over the years with Netflix. Having a new film with one of the hottest stars on the planet and a distribution deal with the biggest streaming service in the world would certainly provide Lee with an audience beyond what his previous efforts have been capable of reaching.
Should Lee come away with the Oscar for best director at this year’s Academy Awards, the prospect of having Netflix in his corner when making Da 5 Bloods is even more tantalizing. Lee has led a career as a bold, passionate director and whether critics and audiences were praising him or not, he's always made the work that he feels to be most important at that particular time. It does feel like he’s in the midst of a career rejuvenation at the moment and if that is indeed the case, it's possible that the best company he can keep is with Chadwick Boseman and Netflix.