BlackKklansman filmmaker Spike Lee has jumped on board as director of the hip-hop love story ‘Prince of Cats’.

The story is based on the graphic novel by Ron Wimberly and is set in “Da People’s Republic of Brooklyn” in the 1980s, the story is essentially a spin on ‘Romeo and Juliet’ as seen through the eyes of Tybalt, Juliet’s duel-loving cousin. Tybalt and his Capulet brothers navigate this world where underground sword dueling runs amuck.

The film centres on Tybalt and his Capulet brothers, who navigate Da People’s Republic of Brooklyn, where underground sword duelling — including katanas — with the rival Montagues blossoms into a vibrant world. That world includes hip-hop essentials such as DJing, emceeing, breakdancing and graffiti.

Lee will also rewrite the script and work with Wimberly and scribe Selwyn Seyfu Hinds to finalise the screenplay.

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Lakeith Stanfield was originally attached to star in the film but he has since dropped out of the project.

Hinds’ knowledge of the hip-hop world stems from his time as editor-in-chief of The Source magazine. He also serves as a comic writer, having penned an episode of Jordan Peele’s update of ‘The Twilight Zone’.

Lee’s last work in the director’s chair was ‘BlackKklansman’, the picture earned him Oscar nominations for best picture and director and a win for best-adapted screenplay. He is currently working on the film ‘Da 5 Bloods’ which tells the tale of 4 African American vets who return to Vietnam seeking their squad leader’s remains and the promise of buried treasure. The film stars Chadwick Boseman, Jean Reno, Clarke Peters and Paul Walter Hauser.