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Everything We Know About Spike Lee’s ‘High and Low’ Remake

Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage
Ah yes, the four Rs of the film industry: reduce, reuse, recycle, and remake. In February, Variety first reported that Spike Lee and Denzel Washington are reuniting to give us an English-language version of Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 crime thriller High and Low (which was itself a loose adaptation of Ed McBain’s 1959 pulp novel King’s Ransom). It’s not too surprising that Lee is doing this project; he’s been a longtime fan of Kurosawa’s, and previously told Vulture that She’s Gotta Have It was inspired by Rashomon. Lee wrote the script for the remake with playwright Alan Fox, and production is scheduled to begin in March. This will mark Lee and Washington’s first movie together since 2006’s Inside Man and fifth collab overall. We’ll have to wait and see if the film will end up being a career high or low (sorry, had to do it).
Who’s in the cast?
Denzel Washington isn’t the only one reuniting with Spike Lee. Deadline reported on March 18 that the cast will also include Ilfenesh Hadera, who starred in Lee’s movies Chi-Raq and Oldboy, as well as his Netflix adaptation of She’s Gotta Have It. A day later, Deadline announced that American Fiction star Jeffrey Wright was the next to join the project.
What’s High and Low about?
Kurosawa’s take on Ed McBain’s 1959 pulp novel King’s Ransom followed a Japanese businessman who is targeted by a ransom-hungry kidnapper. But the plot introduces a moral dilemma when (spoiler alert!) it’s revealed that an employee’s son — not the businessman’s son — was mistakenly abducted instead. It’s currently unclear how faithful the High and Low remake will be to either the film or the novel.
When is it coming out, and how can I watch?
No date has been announced, but A24 will release this new version of High and Low before it launches on Apple TV+. Production was scheduled to begin in March 2024.
This post has been updated.



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