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New Spike Lee Movie 'Chiraq' to Be Filmed in Chicago: Reports

By Kyla Gardner | April 9, 2015 10:58am
 Director Spike Lee.
Director Spike Lee.
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Mireya Acierto/Getty Images

CHICAGO — Spike Lee's next movie is called "Chiraq" and will be filmed in Chicago, reports say.

Samuel L. Jackson and Chicago natives Common, Kanye West and Jeremy Piven are reportedly in talks to be part of the ensemble cast, The Wrap first reported.

The project is being made for Amazon Studios, the Tribune confirmed.

The film is not the first to use the city's "Chiraq" nickname, a portmanteau of "Chicago" and "Iraq."

An eight-part Vice documentary bearing the title followed the city's rappers, and local filmmaker Joseph Gatherigh spoke to DNAinfo Chicago about his movie "The Laws of CHI-RAQ" in 2014.

The nickname is not well-received by all residents.

"The parallels are undeniable, but the term makes us queasy. Does it downplay the wars overseas? Is it just attaching a negative stigma to Chicago?" writes Samantha Abernathy in Chicagoist.

"If only we could banish the term ‘Chiraq'" a Sun-Times headline read.

Rev. Michael Pfleger said Lee was in town in January to do research for "Chiraq."

Thanks to Director/Actor Spike Lee....who spent the day at St. Sabina yesterday talking and interviewing....People who...

Posted by Father Michael Pfleger on Thursday, January 8, 2015

The director will be at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., April 18 for "An Evening of Music, Film and Wine with Spike Lee."

  Samuel L. Jackson and director Spike Lee (Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)