Spike Lee praised as 'biggest innovator of his kind'

Spike Lee praised as 'biggest innovator of his kind'

Spike Lee is "the biggest innovator of his kind".

The 64-year-old director will preside over this year’s Cannes Film Festival jury and playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah - who is working on a new movie with Spike - has compared him to James Brown.

He told The Observer newspaper: "For me, Spike Lee is the godfather: the godfather of black movie making. We talk about James Brown, well he is our James Brown, and he has lasted as long,”

“Spike’s brilliance is not just the movies he has made, but most importantly the way he has innovated the form. Right at the beginning of his career, he is the guy that really brought the soundtrack into our consciousness in a new way. And he used the famous dolly shot. There is no bigger innovator of his kind.”

Meanwhile, Spike and Kwei-Armah have co-written the screenplay for a new movie musical about Viagra.

The pair have been working on the motion picture about Pfizer's discovery and launch of the erectile dysfunction drug, while original music and songs have been written by the acclaimed songwriting team of Stew Stewart and Heidi Rodewald, who previously created the Tony-winning 'Passing Strange'.

The musical is based on an Esquire article penned by David Kushner titled 'All Rise: The Untold Story of The Guys Who Launched Viagra'.

Viagra was initially launched as a treatment for heart-related chest pain only for researchers to discover that the little blue pill had game-changing qualities below the belt.

Announcing the project previously, Spike paid tribute to his mother Jacqueline for instilling in him his love of musicals which have inspired this film.

The 'Da 5 Bloods' director said: "First And Foremost, I Thank Ms. Jacquelyn Shelton Lee. I Thank My Late Mother For As She Would Say Taking 'My Narrow, Rusty Behind' Dragging, Kickin' and Screamin' To The Movies When I Wuz A Nappy Headed Kid Growing Up In Da Streets Of Da People's Republic Of Brooklyn.

"I Did Not Want To See Corney People Singin' and Dancin'. I Instead Wanted To Play With My Friends On Da Block, Stoop Ball, Stick Ball, Punch Ball, Soft Ball, Basketball, 2 Hand Touch, Tackle Football, Coco Leevio, Johnny On Da Pony, Hot Peas And Butter, Crack Top, Down Da Sewer And Of Course- Booty's Up. All The Great New York City Street Games That Might Be Sadly Lost Forever.

"My Father, Bill Lee, Jazz/Folk Bassist, Composer HATED HollyWeird Movies, Henceforth And What Not, Me Being The Eldest Of 5 Children I Became Mommy's Movie Date. She Was A Cinefile.

"Thank You Lawdy She Didn't Listen To My Ongoing Complaints About Musicals. So Finally Going Into My 4th Decade As A Filmmaker I Will Be Directing A DANCIN', ALL SINGIN' MUSICAL Spike Lee Joint And I Can't Wait. My Moms Has Been Waiting TOO!!! And Dats Da Rodgers And Hammerstein Truth, Ruth."