Shooting will begin soon on what promises to be the okayplayer answer to a spaghetti western epic They Die By Dawn, a black cowboy opera conceived and directed by Jeymes Samuel AKA The Bullitts–maker of Jay Elec beats and writer of Estelle songs, in addition to his own prolific musical and cinematic output. The film is based on the real lives of four African American cowboys and the all-star, all-black ensemble cast is slated to include The Wire co-stars Idris Elba and Michael K. Williams as well as Giancarlo Esposito, Rosario Dawson and Erykah Badu! Filming begins in early May on location at the famous western town Melody Ranch in L.A. and I’m told some more big names will be confirmed in the next few days
In other OkayProjector news, indie veteran Spike Lee announced this week that his own 40 acres & A Mule production company will partner with Brooklyn-based indie Variance films on his next cinematic release Red Hook Summer, due to hit theaters in August. The film is the latest in what Spike has described as his “Chronicles of Brooklyn” series, comprising She’s Gotta Have It, Do The Right Thing, Crooklyn, Clockers and He Got Game. It also feels like a welcome throwback to the bright colors and improvisational aesthetic of Spike’s early films, as evidenced by the trailer (watch after the jump).