Looks like Common is going to be the most popular rapper starring in Spike Lee’s new film after all. In a statement given to EW, Kanye West’s rep states that, “Contrary to published reports, Kanye West will not be starring in Chiraq,” while adding that he might have some involvement on the film’s soundtrack, “schedule permitting.” This might be good news, considering that West’s only acting experience to this point is cameos in The Love Guru, Anchorman 2, and presumably the upcoming Zoolander 2. It also frees up the cast of Chiraq to focus on how they’re going to make good on Spike Lee’s desire to make the movie a musical comedy based on the ancient Greek play Lysistrata. That’s probably a bit more difficult to do when Kanye is waving his honorary doctorate in your face between takes and rewriting each scene over and over again like it’s the title of his next album.
The original Lysistrata is a story written by Aristophanes in which the women of ancient Greece withhold sex from the men in an effort to make them sign a treaty ending the Peloponnesian War. Lee’s Chiraq will apparently replace Greece with Chicago, and the Peloponnesian War with gang violence. Sex, or the absence of it, will presumably remain a factor in the proceedings.
As for the actors depicting dudes who aren’t getting laid, John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Piven will join Common in the ensemble, and Jennifer Hudson has signed on possibly to withhold said intercourse from at least one of their characters. The film has a deal with Amazon Studios but will also be released in theaters, so Chicago citizens can choose to judge it harshly together in public or privately in the comfort of their own homes.