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Spike Lee plans film on Katrina disaster

The director also says conspiracy theories claiming the government had a hand in causing the floods aren't surprising.

Published October 12, 2005

Filmmaker Spike Lee on Tuesday announced he is making a film for HBO about the post-Hurricane Katrina flooding in New Orleans, and said he wouldn't be shocked if conspiracy theories of intentional government involvement in the flooding proved true.

Lee's appearance on CNN, to promote his new co-authored memoir/biography, Spike Lee: That's My Story and I'm Sticking To It, followed a report on the rumors circulating among evacuees that the government somehow engineered the flooding of the largely black and poor Ninth Ward section of New Orleans.

CNN's report stressed that there is no evidence anyone caused the flooding on purpose. Brig. Gen. Robert Crear, who commands the Army Corps of Engineers, told CNN there was no truth to the rumors.

But after a handful of unidentified evacuees told CNN they believed something was afoot, anchor Daryn Kagan asked Lee if he thought there was potential for a movie in the tales.

Lee, 47, said he is already in development on a film with HBO called When the Levee Broke.

Asked about the possibility that the rumors of government involvement had any truth, Lee said it wouldn't surprise him.

"It's not too far-fetched ... I don't put anything past the United States government," Lee said. "I don't find it too far-fetched that they tried to displace all the black people out of New Orleans."

Lee has made controversial films, including 1989's Do the Right Thing. But his box office success has been limited. Excluding comedy concert film The Original Kings of Comedy, which grossed about $37-million in 2000, his last big moneymaker was 1992's Malcolm X, which grossed about $48-million.

More recently, his joint venture with pay channel Showtime, Sucker Free City, was intended to be a series, but ended up airing as a one-installment, two-hour movie on Showtime earlier this year.

[Last modified October 12, 2005, 00:18:12]

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