Denzel Washington Thriller Remake Wraps Filming And We Can’t Wait

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Published

Cinephiles and devotees of classic films get ready—Spike Lee has confirmed that he will direct Denzel Washington in the famed filmmaker’s latest project, a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 classic High and Low. As many fans of the actor and director might know, the film is Lee’s fifth collaboration with the iconic Washington. If their mutual filmography is anything to go by, the resulting remake should be another compelling title, enriching their shared, dynamic work.  

Another Washington And Lee Collaboration

denzel washington

Lee broke the news on Instagram, of all places, posting a photo of himself and the cast and crew. The caption: “This Past Friday We Officially Wrapped DA New Spike Joint Starring My Brother Mr. DENZEL WASHINGTON.” Conveying that after decades of working with Denzel Washington, High and Low marks their fifth film together, the director went on to convey his sincere gratitude to his dedicated team, making sure to recognize their talent and dedication. 

The combination of studios behind the project is interesting and noteworthy. One of the involved parties, A24, has become a household name with compelling, sometimes sensational projects—like Hereditary and the Oscar-darling Everything Everywhere All At Once. The other company involved is Apple Original Films, which means the upcoming release is in two very good hands. 

High And Low

That said, much of the plot remains unknown insofar as it departs from Kurosawa’s original narrative. Denzel Washington will probably reprise some aspect of Toshirō Mifune’s role as a shoe company executive in the OG High and Low, but then again, maybe not.

Regardless, film fans remember how the first film reveled in rich themes of class difference, morality, and individual sacrifice. Its gripping and thought-provoking narrative concerned a shoe company exec experiencing a career crisis when the son of his chauffeur is mistakenly kidnapped. In this regard, the film shares thematic overlap with Parasite, another East Asian masterpiece doubtlessly influenced by the Japanese master. 

Cast And Crew

Beyond Washington, the cast features some heavy hitters, like Jeffrey Wright and the rapper Ice Spice; their roles are undisclosed as of now. For his part, Lee co-wrote the script with Alan Fox. Production-wise, the film sports an impressive array of behind-the-camera talent, like Todd Black of Escape Artists and Jason Michael Berman of Mandalay Pictures. 

Through his 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, Lee served as an executive producer of the Denzel Washington-led High and Low. 

Scorsese and Nichols Have Made Attempts

The effort to craft a genuine English-language remake of the film has been a long time coming. Other directors who have attempted to adapt it for a Western audience have been heavyweights like Martin Scorsese, Mike Nichols, and Steven Spielberg. However, their efforts never panned out. Hopefully, Lee, famous for his signature storytelling and unique cinematic vision, will manifest this classic film treasure for a new generation. 

Past Is Prologue

The working relationship between Lee and Washington has led to some of the modern film’s most acclaimed and beloved movies, like Malcolm X, He Got Game, and Inside Man; the Denzel Washington version of High and Low should function as another jewel in the crown. 

While the film’s release date is unannounced, industry insiders expect it to have a theatrical release through A24 before streaming on Apple TV+.