Spike Lee says he’s not working on Sony Marvel’s Nightwatch comic book movie adaptation. The Nightwatch character originated in the Web of Spider-Man comics back in 1993 and has been tapped to star in a film of his own since late last year. Lee has been linked to the project since it was originally announced and reportedly entered talks to direct back in March, with a script in place by Marvel Netflix’s Luke Cage creator and (now, former) showrunner, Cheo Hodari Coker.
Nightwatch, aka. Dr. Kevin Trench, is a vigilante who fight crimes by using a technologically-advanced costume that he got from himself – more specifically, a future version of himself, whom Dr. Trench witnessed being killed in a battle one night. The superhero is one of 900 Marvel characters that Sony has the film rights to and intends to bring to the big screen, as part of the Spider-Man antihero and villain franchise that this year’s Venom has now successfully kicked off. However, it appears that Lee won’t be the filmmaker responsible for retelling Dr. Trench’s story after all.
In an interview with Screen Rant to promote his acclaimed true story-based film BlacKkKlansman (which hit U.S. theaters this past summer), Lee praised Marvel and Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther for the impact it will have on black filmmakers and their efforts to get their movies green-lit in the future. However, when we asked Lee if he’s currently planning to make his own black superhero adventure in the form of Nightwatch, the director responded with a simple “Nah”.
While the idea of the director behind Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, Inside Man, and BlacKkKlansman (among other well-respected films) tackling Nighwatch was certainly exciting, it seems that won’t be happening after all. That’s not to say Lee couldn’t change his mind down the line, of course, but for the time being the Oscar-nominated storyteller will be focusing his creative energies elsewhere. He’s currently working on the second season of his movie-turned Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It, so that should keep Lee preoccupied until he firmly settles on his followup to BlacKkKlansman.
In the meantime, it looks like Morbius the Living Vampire – the vampiric superhero film that Jared Leto is starring in – will serve as the second entry in Sony’s Marvel cinematic universe after Venom. The studio no doubt intends to move forward with Venom 2 sometime after that, now that the first Venom has become a proper box office success. Niightwatch has presumably been moved to the back-burner in the wake of Lee passing on the film, so here’s to hoping the intriguing project finds another promising director and begins to move forward again, sooner rather than later.
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