September will mark the 20-year anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks—most commonly known simply as 9/11—and Spike Lee isn't letting the date pass without honoring it properly.
WarnerMedia announced Monday that Lee is in production with HBO Documentary Films on a multi-part docuseries titled NYC Epicenters 9/11→ 2021½, which is described as "an epic chronicle of life, loss and survival in the city of New York over the twenty years since the September 11 attacks."
Lee provided a statement:
"As a New Yawker who bleeds orange and blue (the colors of New York City), I'm proud to have a ‘Spike Lee Joint’ about how our/my city dealt with being the epicenters of 9/11 and COVID-19. With over 200 interviews, we dig deep into what makes NYC the greatest city on this God's earth and also the diverse citizens who make it so. Over centuries pundits and straight haters have proclaimed NYC was dead and stinkin', only to be proved wrong. You will lose ya money betting against New York, New York. And dat's da truth, Ruth. Be Safe. Peace And Love."
This won't be the first film project based upon the 9/11 attacks. In fact, Lee has sort of done this before. The 2002 drama 25th Hour, directed by Lee, has nothing to do directly with the attacks on paper as it follows heroin dealer Monty Brogan (Edward Norton) on his last day of freedom before a seven-year prison sentence. However, the movie is set in post-9/11 New York City.
"25th Hour feels like history," wrote The Ringer's K. Austin Collins. "The story is a fiction. But the mood the movie evokes right from the start, with a haunting display of the 88 beams of light shot into the sky each September 11 to memorialize the fallen towers, is practically documentary."
This time around, Lee is going full-on documentary, and the finished product figures to be evocative.
The 63-year-old won his first Oscar for best adapted screenplay as director of 2018's BlacKkKlansman.