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Spike Lee can’t get a movie financed, not even a star-studded sequel to his biggest hit

Spike Lee hasn’t made a feature film since 2008’s Miracle At St. Anna, which failed financially and caused a dust-up with Clint Eastwood over the accuracy of racial portrayals in period military films—all of which effectively killed Lee’s buzz after the career-best financial success of Inside Man. So perhaps it isn’t surprising that Lee hasn’t had many financial backers in the intervening years; instead, he’s been exiled to the documentary circuit. Speaking in a Q&A with Charlie Rose at PromaxBDA, a New York marketing, branding, and design conference where he received a lifetime-achievement award, Lee opened up about his production difficulties. Even with Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster on board for an Inside Man follow-up, he couldn’t get anything going: “we can’t get the sequel made. And one thing Hollywood does well is sequels. The film’s not getting made. We tried many times. It’s not going to happen.”

Rose got Lee talking about a host of other topics, from working on a film with LeBron James to his own reluctance with acting in his own films, a series of uncharacteristically gentle softball pitches which Lee knocked out of the bitterness park. On the Oscars, Lee compared Academy voters to NBA referees using makeup calls to rectify previous mistakes, citing Al Pacino and Denzel Washington's late-career Best Actor wins, and noting that his breakout film, Do The Right Thing, didn't even get nominated for Best Picture in 1989, but “Driving Miss Mother F---ing Daisy” won. “That’s why [Oscars] don’t matter, because 20 years later, who’s watching Driving Miss Daisy?” More snippets from the interview are available at The Hollywood Reporter.

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