Vanity Fair has released exclusive first-look images for Spike Lee‘s upcoming feature, “Da 5 Bloods.” A war drama that shifts from horrific to comedic moments, Lee’s latest is a sure eye-catcher premiering on Netflix streaming on June 12. The new images give a glimpse into the titular leads as they trek Vietnam decades later to reckon with loss, themselves, and more.
The film stars Delroy Lindo (“Crooklyn,” “Clockers”), Broadway’s Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr. (“The Wire,” “BlacKkKlansman,” “25th Hour”), and Clarke Peters (“The Wire,” “Red Hook Summer”). The four survive the Vietnam War and return decades later to find the remains of their fallen squad member, played by Chadwick Boseman (“Black Panther”).
The new images come a week after Lee unveiled the official poster via his social media accounts. “Da 5 Bloods” is Lee’s first partnership with Netflix. The film arrives two years after his Oscar-winning feature, “BlacKkKlansman.” The timely racial drama was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and the win for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Lee reteams with “BlacKkKlansman” screenwriter Kevin Willmott on a spec script from filmmakers Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo. “Da 5 Bloods,” with tweaks from Lee and Willmott, addresses the social and racial themes surrounding war, honor, and grit.
Spike Lee from the VF interview:
“In the Year of Our Lord 2013, two filmmakers, their names are Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo, who is no longer with us, wrote a spec script called The Last Tour, about a group of four Vietnam vets who were returning to Vietnam to find the remains of their squad leader and the gold that’s buried with him,” Lee said. “In 2014 my coproducer, Lloyd Levin, optioned the script and brought it to Oliver Stone, who had it for two years, and in 2016 he walked away. I’ve not spoken to Oliver, so I don’t know what happened.”
Lee’s co-producer Lloyd Levin brought the script to Lee and Willmott, paving the way for a start on production. One of the major changes to the story was the switch to African American veterans. “Da 5 Bloods” also stars Jonathan Majors, a breakout actor from last year’s Joe Talbot debut, “The Last Black Man in San Francisco.”
Lee’s directorial credits include “She’s Gotta Have It,” “Jungle Fever,” “Do the Right Thing,” “Malcolm X” and more. His upcoming projects include the documentary, “American Utopia,” currently in pre-production, and “Prince of Cats.”
“Da 5 Bloods” premieres on Netflix on June 12. Lee’s 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks is producing.