Controversial film director and actor Spike Lee announced that he plans to make a World War II film that will focus on the contribution of black American soldiers who fought and died to liberate Europe during WWII.
“If you think Hollywood and World War II, you think John Wayne—the great white male that saved the world. It’s a myth,” he told Reuters.
Shooting for the film, based on James McBride’s novel Miracle at St. Anna, is expected to start by the beginning of 2008 and to cost $45 million. It will be shot in Tuscany, where American soldiers were trapped in the mountains behind enemy lines and were living with local villagers who had never laid eyes on a black person before.
Much of Lee’s film career has focused on skewering controversial political and social issues, particularly those affecting the African American community. He was recently given the annual George Polk Award for his work on When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, a documentary about life in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Lee also announced in 2006 his plans to direct a James Brown biopic, which would tell the story of the “Godfather of Soul,” who died of congestive heart failure on Christmas morning last year in Atlanta at age 73.