Apple Original Films and A24 are partnering on High and Low, which reunites longtime collaborators Spike Lee and Denzel Washington with Washington starring and Lee directing. A24 will release the film theatrically before its global launch on Apple TV+.
The film is an English-language reinterpretation of Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 crime thriller. While its unknown how similar the High and Low plot will be, Kurosawa’s movie follows an executive at a Yokohama shoe company who becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur’s son is kidnapped by mistake and held for ransom.
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Developed and produced by A24, Escape Artists and Mandalay Pictures and written by Alan Fox and Lee, the new thriller starts production in March. High and Low will be produced by Todd Black for Escape Artists and Jason Michael Berman for Mandalay Pictures. In addition to directing, 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.
The project marks the fifth time the two Oscar winners have worked together, most recently on 2006’s Inside Man, along with Malcolm X, He Got Game and Mo’ Better Blues. According to sources, they started showing interest in working together on the project last spring, but the idea was tabled when the WGA and SAG AFTRA strikes forced production to halt on the Gladiator sequel starring Washington. With the strikes resolved and production on Gladiator wrapped, High Aand Low became priority for the two.
The film marks the second collaboration for Apple Original Films and Washington following the multi-Oscar-nominated The Tragedy of Macbeth, also from A24, which landed Washington his seventh nomination for Best Actor amid 10 overall. He won Best Actor for 2001’s Training Day and Supporting Actor for 1989’s Glory.
Washington is represented by WME, Lee is represented by Gersh and Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, and Fox is represented by Grandview.
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