The new Spike Lee film Chi-Raq offers further proof — as if any was needed — that only a fool would predict the next career move of the auteur responsible for She’s Gotta Have It, Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, 25th Hour, the 2013 version of Oldboy, and Hurricane Katrina doc When the Levees Broke.
A modern-day retelling of Aristophanes’ more than two millennia-old play Lysistrata, the movie stars Teyonah Parris as a woman in love with a rapper (Nick Cannon) who finds herself increasingly disturbed by the war between his Spartan gang and the rival Trojans, led by Wesley Snipes. Following the death of an 11-year-old girl, Parris’ character persuades both the Spartan and the Trojan women to stop having sex until the fighting stops.
And did we mention that the whole shebang is spoken in verse?
Chi-Raq also boasts the talents of Angela Bassett, Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack, and Jennifer Hudson, among others. The film, which Lee co-wrote, is released in theaters, Dec. 4.
Watch the trailer for Chi-Raq below, and check out a new exclusive scene in the video above.