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Denzel Washington and Spike Lee Reuniting to Remake Kurosawa’s ‘High and Low’ With A24 and Apple

Denzel Washington and Spike Lee are reuniting for their fifth film together – the first since 2006’s “Inside Man.” Apple Original Films and A24 are partnering on “High and Low,” which will be released theatrically by A24 before a global launch on AppleTV+.

The thriller, which starts production in March, is the English-language reinterpretation of Akira Kurosawa’s crime thriller of the same name. The 1963 film starring Toshiro Mifune was based on the Ed McBain novel “King’s Ransom,” which chronicles the ruin of a businessman following a ransom payment to kidnappers.

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Developed and produced by A24, Escape Artists and Mandalay Pictures, “High and Low” features a script written by Alan Fox and Spike Lee.

As Apple is a co-financier on “High and Low,” this project will not be included in a recent multi-year deal that A24 brokered with competing streaming service Max last year, sources familiar with the movie said. The Max deal covers the “pay one” window for A24 releases, which is a term for the typical period when a film first hits cable or streaming after a theatrical release and paid video-on-demand.

The feature will be produced by Todd Black (“Emancipation,” “The Equalizer” films) for Escape Artists and Jason Michael Berman (“Air,” “Nine Days”) 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.

Lee and Washington previously collaborated on “Mo’ Better Blues,” “Malcolm X,” “He Got Game” and “Inside Man.” It also marks the latest project for Washington with Todd Black following collaborations on “Fences,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “The Equalizer” franchise.

This is Washington’s second collaboration with Apple Original Films following “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” also from A24, which landed Washington his 10th Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

Washington is represented by WME; Lee is represented by  Gersh and Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks; Fox is represented by Grandview.

Matt Donnelly contributed to this report.

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