Sundance: Spike Lee Reveals ‘Inside Man 2’ Plot Changed, Additional Casting Revealed

Big plot changes and casting continuity are in store for Spike Lee’s sequel to his 2006 bank heist blockbuster, “Inside Man,” the director exclusively told MTV News at Sundance.

Early reports had the movie, tentatively titled “Inside Man 2,” focusing on Clive Owen and his crew of ingenious thieves getting embroiled in a New York diamond district heist. “Naw, naw, not anymore,” Lee now says of that potential storyline, declining to reveal any fresh details. “Can’t tell you, or I’ll have to do one of these,” he says, making a stabbing motion. He did admit that, like the first picture, the sequel will be shot on location in New York City.

While plot specifics remain locked safely away, Lee revealed the original cast will return, including Owen as the criminal mastermind with a keen sense of moral rectitude, Denzel Washington as a world-weary NYPD detective, and Jodi Foster as a shady businesswoman-for-hire. Lee also revealed another original cast member will reprise their role, Chiwetel Ejiofor.

“Inside Man” was something of a surprise hit in 2006. The setup was familiar—the perfect bank robbery becomes a hostage crisis—and the famously independent director seemed ill-suited for a conventional Hollywood crime caper. Yet the screenplay was chock full of satisfying plot twists, and Lee cast folks with strong acting chops and proved adept at capturing not only the nuances of character but the demands of fast-paced action. “Inside Man” turned out to be anything but Hollywood stock fare and went on to gross $184 million worldwide.

Taking over scriptwriting duties from first film scribe Russell Gewirtz is “Hotel Rwanda” writer/director Terry George. “I got an email from Terry George yesterday,” Lee told us. “He just finished—he’s at the end of the first act.”

But Lee isn’t about to jump into filming the first sequel of his career without a finished script. “If the script is up to snuff, we’ll be shooting it,” he says. “Here’s the thing: if everything lines up—people’s schedules are open, [we’ll begin in] late summer, early fall.”

What should be the new “Inside Man 2” plot? Worried that a new writer is taking over? Thrilled that Clive and Denzel will reprise their roles?