Spike Lee and Denzel Washington attend a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks at Crypto.com Arena
Source: Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

A Tale of Two Titans: Spike Lee and Denzel Washington's Decades-Long Friendship Explored

Celebs are known for their talent, but also for the company they keep — and Spike Lee and Denzel Washington's friendship is solid.


Feb. 16 2024, Published 4:43 p.m. ET

Discover Proudly Amplifies Diverse Voices

In the world of Hollywood, long-term friendships are rare gems, and one of the rare celebrity friendships is the enduring comradery between celebrated filmmaker Spike Lee and veteran actor Denzel Washington.

Their brotherhood, which spans several decades, has weathered the storm of showbiz and all of the drama that comes with it. Here's a breakdown of the duo's years-long friendship.

spike lee and denzel washington
Source: Desiree Navarro/FilmMagic

Spike Lee and Denzel Washington during "Inside Man" New York City Premiere at Ziegfield Theater in New York City, New York.

Article continues below advertisement

Denzel Washington and Spike Lee's years-long friendship explored.

Denzel and Spike have a rapport that dates back to the late 90s when the two first crossed paths on the set of Mo' Better Blues. Little did they know that the encounter would mark the start of a great partnership, and consequently, good cinema for all of us. Since the film's release, the duo's professional synergy has flourished, leading to brilliant collaborations on multiple projects that impacted the world of cinema.

Spike and Denzel's artistry has inspired a lot of their collaborations, including Malcolm X, He Got Game, and Inside Man.

Spike and Denzel's artistry has inspired a lot of their collaborations, including Malcolm X, He Got Game, and Inside Man.

The two are undoubtedly two of the most revered creatives in Hollywood and their creativity has been rewarded over the years. Their highly acclaimed Malcolm X was so well received that it earned Denzel an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture for his powerful portrayal of the iconic civil rights leader.

Article continues below advertisement

In 2019, Spike paid tribute to his long-time friend in a gripping tribute at the 2019 AFI Life Achievement Awards and rumor has it, the two film heavyweights are not done working together just yet.

denzel and spike in mo money mo blues
Source: Mario Ruiz/Getty Images

Spike Lee directing Denzel Washington on set of "Mo Better Blues."

Article continues below advertisement

Spike and Denzel are teaming up for a remake of the Japanese film 'High and Low.'

According to The Guardian, the latest chapter in the Lee-Washington saga will see the dynamic duo joining forces once again to remake the 1963 Japanese film crime-drama High and Low by Akira Kurosawa.

Although specific details about the film's remake have not been made public yet, many fans are eagerly waiting for the masterpiece.

According to Deadline, Spike and Denzel had indicated that they wanted to collaborate on the project in 2023, and started making plans towards that later that year. Filming for their new project is slated to kick off in 2024.

Article continues below advertisement
denzel washington and spike lee afi lifetime achievement awards
Source: Erik Voake/Getty Images for WarnerMedia

Spike Lee (L) and Denzel Washington attend the 47th AFI Life Achievement Award honoring Denzel Washington at Dolby Theatre.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Spike has carved his niche as a provocateur in American cinema, creating thought-provoking and iconic movies like Do The Right Thing, She's Gotta Have It, and School Daze.

His directorial creativity has been influenced by issues of race, inequality, and social justice. This has not only sparked conversations but also propelled him into the echelon of one of the most powerful filmmakers of all time.

Similarly, Denzel is one of the most well-respected actors in Hollywood. Beyond the accolades and awards, his impact on Black culture — and the entertainment industry as a whole — is reflected in his commitment to roles that challenge societal norms.

Whether he is portraying historical figures or complex individuals, his performances always challenge the status quo — not to mention his unique ability to breathe new life into his characters, which is perhaps what makes him and Spike the ultimate dynamic duo.

The author’s content and opinions have not been pre-reviewed, approved or endorsed by Discover.

It’s not just a magazine. It’s a lifestyle!

Sign up for our newsletter for early access to content, special promotions and giveaways.

Dope content. No spam. We promise.

More from Bleu Mag

Opt-out of personalized ads

© Copyright 2024 Bleu Mag. Bleu Mag is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.