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Denzel Washington, Spike Lee Reteam for Adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s ‘High and Low’

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Denzel Washington and Spike Lee are reuniting for High and Low, a thriller that has landed at Apple Original Films.

The feature is a partnership between Apple and A24, with the latter to release the High and Low theatrically before a global launch on Apple TV+.

Written by Alan Fox and Lee, the project is an English-language reinterpretation of Akira Kurosawa’s crime thriller High and Low. The 1963 Japanese movie told of a shoe executive that was in the middle of a complex corporate takeover when his plans are derailed by the accidental kidnapping and ransom of his chauffeur’s son, instead of his own son.

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The thriller is due to begin production in March with Lee in the director’s chair and Washington starring. It will be the fifth collaboration between Lee and Washington. Their most recent was the 2006 critical and box office hit, Inside Man. Their other movies include Mo’ Better Blues, Malcolm X and He Got Game.

High and Low was developed and is being produced by A24, Escape Artists and Mandalay Pictures. Producers include Escape Artists’ Todd Black, who produced Washington’s The Equalizer action movies, and Jason Michael Berman (Air) for Mandalay Pictures.

Lee will serve as executive producer through his 40 Acres And A Mule Filmworks. Mandalay’s Peter Guber will serve as executive producer, along with Juniper Productions’ Matthew Lindner, Chris Brigham, and Katia Washington. Mandalay’s Jordan Moldo is co-producing.

High and Low will be Lee’s first feature since 2020’s Da 5 Bloods, a war drama whose ensemble cast included Chadwick Boseman, Jonathan Majors, and Delroy Lindo. He is repped by Gersh and Grubman Shire.

Washington, repped by WME, last starred in Equalizer 3, which grossed $191 million worldwide. Prior to that, he starred in The Tragedy of Macbeth, which was also a partnership between Apple and A24.

Fox is a playwright who made waves in 2019 with his racially charged play Safe Space. The play is now set up for a big-screen adaptation at Sony. Among his other film work is Queen of the Stoned Age, also set up at Sony with Dakota Johnson attached to star. He is repped by Grandview.

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