Spike Lee is attached to produce and direct an untitled ROTC coming-of-age drama series from Amazon Studios. The project is being written by military veterans Jalysa Conway and Rebecca Murga. Deadline reports that the project is set in the ROTC program of a major university, where students from different social strata intermingle as they all strive towards their ultimate goal of fulfilling their dreams.
ROTC, the Reserve Officers’ Training Corp, is a college and university-based program that trains future commissioned officers in the United States Armed Forces. Both Murga and Conway are veterans of ROTC, joining to help pay their way through college. Both later went on to serve in active military duty, Murga with the Army, and Conway with the Air Force. The two worked together in the Rideback TV Incubator, a residency program from Dan Lin’s Rideback and MRC, which helps writers from diverse backgrounds produce their own TV shows. Conway and Murga‘s pitch video for their ROTC project sufficiently impressed Lee enough that he boarded the project himself.
Lee is one of the most prominent American directors of the modern era, and an important Black voice in Hollywood. Lee‘s films have explored the way race relations influence every aspect of American life, from the incendiary Do the Right Thing, to the sweeping biopic Malcolm X, to the semi-autobigraphical Crooklyn. After four previous nominations, he won Best Adapted Screenplay in 2018 for BlacKkKlansman, and has received lifetime achievement awards from both the Academy and the Directors Guild of America. His most recent film, the Vietnam War epic Da Five Bloods, was released in 2020 to great acclaim, and was named the National Board of Review’s Best Picture.
He has also directed a number of documentaries and concert films, most recently David Byrne‘s American Utopia. He currently has a musical in the works on the unlikely subject of the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra. This will be his second recent venture into TV; he previously wrote, produced, and directed a series based on his 1986 directorial debut, She’s Gotta Have It, for Netflix. Conway was a supervising producer on 9-1-1: Lone Star, and previously wrote for Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy. Murga is a writer and director on the Apple basketball drama Swagger.
Lee, Conway and Murga will executive produce the project, alongside Steven Jackson, and Trevor Engelson of Underground. Stay tuned to Collider for future updates.