“Homicides in Chicago, IL have surpassed the death toll of American special forces in Iraq,” begins a news anchor’s voiceover in the (just-released-on-IMDB) trailer for Spike Lee’s anticipated upcoming film, Chiraq. (The film’s name comes from the endonym — which you may recognize from a certain Kanye song — that draws on the comparison in the sound clip at the beginning of the trailer; this had, when the film was first announced, upset some Chicago officials and residents.)
The above statement in the trailer sets the scene for the film that reimagines the ancient Greek comedy, Lysistrata (by Aristophanes) in the south side of current day Chicago. In the original play, a woman named Lysistrata gathers a group of women and convinces them to deny sex to men until they end the Peloponnesian War. In Lee’s version, a same-named character takes a similar course of action (well, the denial of action) as an effort to end gang violence. The trailer shows Teyonah Parris as Lysistrata, as she attempts to engage other women in the area in enacting her plan; it also features Samuel L. Jackson as Dolmedes (who seems to be a chorus-like character), as well as Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson and John Cusack.
Chiraq is the first feature Amazon (who’re having a big day) will be releasing in an attempt to kickstart their Netflix-competing movie division. It’ll be out in select theaters on December 4; the theatrical release will be followed by a release on Amazon Instant Video.
Watch the trailer: