It was the film that started his career back in 1985 – now entrepreneurial filmmaker Spike Lee is updating SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT for the Showtime network. The latest in a long line of directors to embrace the creative freedom of TV, Lee will write and helm a series of half hour episodes that expands the original story, bringing his uncompromising views to the small screen.
The independent movie of the same name caused a stir with its sexually-charged narrative of a young black woman managing the attentions of three men. Scope for a juicy season arc if ever there was one! Lee will presumably bring a predominantly black cast to the digital airwaves, still a rarity even in today’s media. It isn’t the first time Lee has worked on a TV project – in 2006 he directed the pilot of Shark, the legal eagles drama that showcased an idiosyncratic central performance from James Woods. In terms of film, Lee recently remade Park Chan-wook’s OLDBOY with Josh Brolin, and his latest movie DA SWEET BLOOD OF JESUS, a horror, was funded via Kickstarter.
A lot has changed since Lee was the radical voice in American film, though of course much has stayed the same, so his input is arguably needed now more than ever. Television attracts the big names with its multi-episode structures and large paycheques, yet is still very much a business. How Lee’s vision will fare in translation, and whether he still has the teeth to take down the big targets, remains to be seen.