As one of the most well-known and archetypal Gothamites, Spike Lee enjoys regaling us with stories that express his profound admiration for New York City. Some of those pieces include Crooklyn, Do The Right Thing, and Red Hook Summer. And with his upcoming docuseries NYC Epicenters 9/11→ 2021½, soon to be released on HBO and HBO Max, Spike continues in that tradition, covering how “The Big Apple” was rocked by the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center twenty years ago as well as how it has moved forward since then.
“As a New Yawker who bleeds orange and blue (the colors of New York City), I’m proud to have a ‘Spike Lee Joint’ about how our/my city dealt with being the epicenters of 9/11 and COVID-19,” Lee said in an official statement about the project. “With over 200 interviews, we dig deep into what makes NYC the greatest city on this God’s earth and also the diverse citizens who make it so.”
“We’re thrilled to have another groundbreaking HBO documentary event from Spike Lee,” said Lisa Heller and Nancy Abraham, co-heads of HBO Documentary Films. “From documenting the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans to the 9/11 attack on New York City and beyond, we treasure Spike’s singular capacity to chronicle and pay tribute to the human toll of these historic events while bearing profound witness to the strength and resiliency of the human spirit.”
Lee’s company, 40 Acres and a Mule will work in tandem with HBO Documentary Films. He will also be in charge of the directorial and producer duties for the series. Longtime business partner Barry Alexander Brown, who has collaborated with Lee on many of his other notable projects, from School Daze to BlacKkKlansman, will share editorial responsibilities alongside Adam Gough. Gough’s most recent work with Lee was last year’s Da 5 Bloods, starring Chadwick Boseman.
There is currently no official release date but expect for it to come out later this year. But look for Spike to gush full of that classic “Empire State of Mind” throughout NYC Epicenters. “Over centuries, pundits and straight haters have proclaimed NYC was dead and stinkin’, only to be proved wrong,” he concludes in his statement. “You will lose ya money betting against New York, New York. And dat’s da truth, Ruth. Be safe. Peace and love.”