Jeffrey Wright Latest To Join Denzel Washington In Spike Lee’s ‘High And Low’

Hot on the heels of his first Academy Award nomination for his lead role in American Fiction, Jeffrey Wright has been set to join Denzel Washington and Ilfenesh Hadera in Spike Lee’s High and Low, an English-language reinterpretation of Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 crime thriller, for Apple and A24.

Details as to his role are under wraps.

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Loosely based on the 1959 novel King’s Ransom, written by Evan Hunter under the pen name Ed McBain, the original High and Low follows a shoe company executive who becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur’s son is kidnapped by mistake and held for ransom. It’s unclear how closely Lee’s film will hew to the original storyline.

Developed and produced by A24, Escape Artists and Mandalay Pictures, High and Low is written by Alan Fox and Lee. Todd Black and Jason Michael Berman are producing for Escape Artists and Mandalay Pictures, respectively. Production is set to kick off this month.

Exec producers include Lee for 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, and Mandalay’s Peter Guber, as well as Juniper Productions’ Matthew Lindner, Chris Brigham, and Katia Washington. Mandalay’s Jordan Moldo is co-producing, with A24 to release the film theatrically before its global launch on Apple TV+.

Wright drew some of the best reviews his career for his turn in Amazon MGM Studios/Orion Pictures’ American Fiction, securing an Independent Spirit Award for his performance, as well as nominations at the Oscars, Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice Awards and SAG Awards. In the film from Academy Award-winning writer-director Cord Jefferson, he plays Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, a frustrated novelist who writes a new book under a pen name, as a means of critiquing the literary establishment’s penchant for “Black” entertainment relying on tired and offensive tropes, but quickly sees his plan backfire.

Also recently landing three Emmy nominations for his turn as Westworld host Bernard Lowe on HBO’s Westworld, Wright’s other film credits of late include George C. Wolfe’s Oscar-nominated Netflix drama Rustin, Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch and Asteroid City, and Matt Reeves’ The Batman. The actor is repped by CAA and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.

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