How much is Spike Lee worth?
|Net Worth:||$55 Million
|Date of Birth:||March 20, 1957|
|Country:||United States of America|
Who Is Spike Lee
Spike Lee is an actor, an Oscar winning screenwriter, and movie director who is famous for his movies that often tackle racial stereotypes and confront social and political themes head on. He often writes himself in to roles, and many people see him as the beloved Mars Blackmon from She’s Gotta Have It. Somehow, the famed director has become a sought after commercial director, earning a pretty penny from brands such as Jaguar and Nike. No stranger to controversies, Lee has also made headlines for being outspoken on Twitter about gun control, the police, and cancel culture. Some of Lee’s most popular movies include Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, Inside Man, and BlacKkKlansman.
As of 2021, Spike Lee has a net worth of $55 million dollars.
How Did Spike Lee Get So Rich?
It comes as no surprise that Lee has made tens of millions of dollars in the movie industry as his biggest advice to up-and-comers is to “go where the money is,” and that might also explain a lot of his ventures outside of filmmaking. The director has found himself being an in-demand commercial director, or maybe it’s just that he’s the only willing prolific director to do such a thing. In the past, he has directed commercials for Converse, Jaguar, Taco Bell, Ben & Jerry’s, and Levi’s, to name a few. The biggest endorsement deal he ever signed was when he agreed to direct and star in a string of commercials for Nike as his character from She’s Gotta Have It, Mars Blackmon.
Though it isn’t clear exactly how much of a salary Lee receives per movie, it’s likely that he doesn’t get much of a salary, but a percentage of the box office profit as he is an executive producer for many of his films. With his production company 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, Lee has released his most highest grossing films, including BlacKkKlansman, which made $93 million, and Inside Man, which is his highest grossing movie to date, earning $186 million worldwide.
Why Is He So Famous?
Lee released the comedy She’s Gotta Have It in 1986, and a couple of years later, he followed it up with Do The Right Thing, which was a massive success and way ahead of its time. Lee tried to combat racism with the movie, as it follows characters in Brooklyn where the is a war between the Italian community and the Black community, and the two minorities don’t end up getting along until there is an outright riot and a pizza place is burned down. Lee was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Screenplay for the movie, but it lost to another film that was the apposite to Do The Right Thing in almost every single way, Driving Miss Daisy.
In the 2000s, Lee channeled his creativity in to movies that didn’t have a predominantly black cast, but cleverly used the high concept of Hollywood movies as the vehicle for his diatribes. In 2006, Lee directed Inside Man, a movie completely out of his comfort zone as it was a high-octane heist thriller. However, he used the film’s narrative to criticize violent video games and stereotypes, not just the ones people have of people of color, but of everybody – all shapes and sizes, male or female, black or white, or any other race – and that’s why it instantly became a lot of people’s favorite Spike Lee movie.
The director has several other movies in the same vein that makes his disdain of Neo-nazis and racial profiling abundantly clear, and it was done to varying degrees of success. Most notably, Lee directed 25th Hour starring Edward Norton, which was seen as a spiritual successor to the iconic American History X. He also directed the controversial Old Boy, which is an adaptation of the Japanese cult classic of the same name. Lee added American political undercurrents in to the movie, but it was the first time it didn’t entirely work with critics and audiences.
Most recently, Lee directed BlacKkKlansman in 2018, which starred Adam Driver and John David Washington, and it won Lee his first Academy Award. However, he lost the Best Picture award to Green Book, which was about a black person and a white person bonding while one was driving the other, bearing a massive similarity to Driving Miss Daisy. After the ceremony ended, Lee said in an interview that every time he’s nominated for an Oscar he always loses to somebody driving somebody, and since then he hasn’t been shy about his disliking of Green Book and Driving Miss Daisy.
What Makes Spike Lee Successful?
Lee doesn’t use metaphors when it comes to his movies, as his messages are as blunt as a butter knife but rip through audiences like a machete. That is one of his best traits as a director, whereas most other filmmakers in the industry don’t want the social and political themes bleeding in to the narrative and taking over the story. Whether it’s Malcolm X or Inside Man, Lee ties these themes in to the plot in a way that no other director can, and if the racial themes were taken away from even his most “hollywood” movies, there would be something missing.
Lee stands out as a director and has broken out of the behind-the-camera cliché of filmmakers being unknown by having an energy no other director could possibly keep up with. He has a thought process that is running constantly and he is always on the move with his grand gestures. The best example of this is on the stage at The Academy Awards when he literally jumps on Samuel L. Jackson. He also has a style unrivaled to anybody, even compared to people in the fashion industry, as anytime he is seen in public, he makes sure he is wearing a custom suit. At the 2020 Oscars ceremony, the director turned up in a custom suit dedicated to Kobe Bryant, with the purple and yellow colors of The Lakers.
In trying to change the world for the better and attempting to teach audiences about the negative effects that stereotypes have on society without talking down to them, Lee has built a filmography filled with black empowerment that can’t be found anywhere else. Owed to his ability to craft thought provoking and gripping narratives, along with shooting tonnes of commercials, Lee directed his way to an estimated net worth of $40 million. Most recently, his BlacKkKlansman follow up, Da 5 Bloods, which stars the late Chadwick Boseman, is available to stream on Netflix now.