SEATTLE, July 15 (UPI) -- Spike Lee's upcoming major film will be the first produced by Amazon's new production company, Amazon Studios.
The film, written by Lee and Kevin Willmott was shot entirely in Chicago and reportedly wrapped last week.
The Verge reports the film, currently called Chi-Raq after the controversial nickname used to describe the area's South Side neighborhoods, will cover violence in inner-city Chicago.
With the current working title Chi-Raq, the film stars Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Jennifer Hudson, Teyonah Parris, D.B. Sweeney, Harry Lennix, Steve Harris, Angela Bassett. John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson will also make appearances while actress Teyonah Parris (Mad Men) will play the lead.
Amazon first announced its Original Movies initiative in January, saying it aimed to produce films for theatrical release while giving the site's Prime members early viewing privileges on Prime Instant Video.
"Spike Lee is one of the most distinct and visionary filmmakers of our time," said Amazon Studios head of production Ted Hope in a statement. "It would be impossible to find a better filmmaker with whom to launch our studio. He has a unique voice, a distinct eye, and he tackles important subjects with humor and heart, pointing to solutions and not exploiting the problems. Chi-Raq may be his greatest, and definitely his boldest film yet -- everything about it is distinctive."
Spike Lee is best known for his 1989 comedy-drama Do the Right Thing, which he produced, wrote and directed. Lee also acted as the film's protagonist, Mookie.
"Please don't be fooled by the title of Chi-Raq, this new Spike Lee joint will be something very special. We have assembled a stellar cast," the director said.
No release date for the Amazon Original film has been revealed.