Spike Lee has signed on with Legendary Pictures to direct “Prince of Cats,” based on a graphic novel by Ron Wimberly that transports “Romeo & Juliet” to a 1980s hip-hop setting.
Set in Brooklyn, the violent feud between the Capulets and Montagues is waged with katanas and amid graffiti-stained walls. Along with the backdrop, “Prince of Cats” also changes the story’s focus from the two doomed lovers to Tybalt, Juliet’s rage-fueled cousin who leads the Capulets in their battles and whose bloodthirst leads to his demise.
Lee will rewrite the script with Wimberly and original screenwriter Selwyn Seyfu Hinds. Janet and Kate Zucker of Zucker Productions will produce the film with Legendary’s Jon Silk and Ali Mendes overseeing the project.
Lee won his first Oscar this year for Best Adapted Screenplay for “BlacKkKlansman,” which was also nominated for Best Picture. In addition to “Prince of Cats,” his future slate includes the Netflix war drama “Da 5 Bloods,” which stars Chadwick Boseman, Paul Walter Hauser, and Jonathan Majors and filmed in Vietnam earlier this year.
Lee is repped by ICM Partners, and the signing was first reported by THR.