"If you look at the history of Hollywood, the black soldiers who fought World War II are totally invisible," Lee said during a press conference in Rome to official launch the project based author James McBride's "Miracle at St. Anna."
Also on hand were 82-year-old World War II vet William Perry, a member of a Buffalo Soldiers unit composed of African-Americans who fought the Nazis in Italy, and Moreno Costa, an Italian anti-Fascist partisan who fought alongside the Americans, Variety reported Tuesday.
Perry said 3,000 men of the 15,000-strong 370th Buffalo Soldiers regiment died.
Lee was Italy scouting locations for the $45 million drama. Shooting is scheduled to begin early next year in New York, Tuscany and Rome's Cinecitta Studios.
Sign language interpreter at Mandela service called out as fake on Twitter
Wisconsin business offering 'therapeutic cuddling' forced to close