The Wire alums Clarke Peters and Isiah Whitlock Jr. have joined the cast of Spike Lee‘s next film Da 5 Bloods along with Norm Lewis, Mélanie Thierry and Jasper Pääkkönen, Collider has learned.
Netflix is backing the film, which will also star Delroy Lindo, Chadwick Boseman, Jonathan Majors, Jean Reno, and Paul Walter Hauser, who like Whitlock and Pääkkönen, just worked with Lee on BlacKkKlansman.
Da 5 Bloods follows a four African-American veterans who return to Vietnam to search for the remains of their fallen squad leader (Boseman) and the promise of buried treasure. Our heroes battle forces of man and nature as they’re confronted by the lasting ravages of the immorality of the Vietnam War.
Peters, Whitlock and Lewis (who’s 10 years younger than his co-stars) are expected to play three of the four leads alongside Lindo, which is interesting because I’d heard that Lee was courting some higher-profile names, though I love this configuration of the cast as it currently stands. Someone like, say, Samuel L. Jackson might have thrown off the balance of the quartet with his star power. And I know I previously reported Boseman would play the son of one of the leads, but that role appears to have gone to Majors, while Boseman will be appear in war-torn flashbacks.
Lee and his BlacKkKlansman collaborator Kevin Willmott worked on the script together many, many years ago, based on an original screenplay by Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo. Matthew Billingsly also had a hand in the script. Lee is producing the film with Jon Kilik (The Hunger Games franchise), Beatriz Levin and Lloyd Levin (Hellboy). Newton Thomas Sigel, who shot Bohemian Rhapsody and Drive, will serve as the cinematographer.
Da 5 Bloods marks Netflix’s fourth collaboration with Lee, who previously wrote and directed She’s Gotta Have It, which is currently in post-production on its second season. Lee also directed Roger Guenveur Smith’s one man show Rodney King for Netflix, for which he also produced the time-travel movie See You Yesterday.
Peters is best known for playing Detective Lester Freamon on The Wire and Albert “Big Chief” Lambreaux on HBO’s Treme. Peters also had a supporting roles in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and the OWN series Love Is_, and he recently finished a run of The American Clock at The Old Vic. He’s represented by Vanguard Management Group and Conway van Gelder Grant.
Whitlock is best known for playing Senator Clay Davis on The Wire, though he has also enjoyed recurring roles on Veep, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Mist and The Good Cop. He recently co-starred alongside Casey Affleck in The Old Man & the Gun, and he’ll soon be seen in the horror-comedy Corporate Animals, which just debuted at Sundance. Whitlock is repped by CornerStone Talent Agency and Liebman Entertainment.
Lewis is a Broadway legend who has starred in Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera. The Tony Award-nominated actor also had a recurring role on ABC’s Scandal and appeared in Sex and the City 2. He’s repped by Paradigm and The Katz Company.
Thierry’s credits include Terry Gilliam‘s The Zero Theorem and the Vin Diesel movie Babylon A.D. She’s repped by Agence Adequat.
Pääkkönen is best known for playing Halfdan the Black on the hit TV series Vikings, though he also played a memorable scene-stealer in BlacKkKlansman. He’s repped by ICM Partners and Subtitle Talent.