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Hollywood, CA — The Denzel Washington franchise is about to enter what many critics are calling its swan song phase. And earlier this week, Warner Brothers pictures announced that Mr. Washington signed on to remake the 1946 Frank Capra classic It’s A Wonderful Life. Denzel will play George Bailey, portrayed initially by Jimmy Stewart.

Spike Lee will direct it and promises to update the over 80-year-old film.

I think that every minority in the United States of America knows everything about the It’s A Wonderful Life,” said Mr. Lee commenting about his upcoming efforts. “From the time you can think, we are bombarded with images of it from TV, film, magazines, newspapers — every Christmas man. I’m just trying to tell a good story and make thought-provoking, entertaining films. I try and draw upon the great culture we have as a people, from music, novels, the streets.”

Over the past several decades, there have been several attempts to remake the iconic film about Middle America. However, this will be the first with Spike Lee’s distinctive spin.

Attempting to Change Attitudes

“Any film I do is not going to change the way black women have been portrayed, or black people have been portrayed, in cinema since the days of D.W. Griffith. It comes down to this: black people were stripped of our identities when we were brought here, and it’s been a quest since then to define who we are. So maybe I can change that a bit here.”

Denzel Washington said, through his spokesperson, that Americans need to unite and stop bickering. And he believes this remake of It’s A Wonderful Life will help.

According to The Hollywood Reporter filming started in Oakland, California this month and Warner Brothers says it is set for release on Christmas day in a black and white format.