Lee offered the role to Stephen Tyrone Williams, a young stage actor based in New York City.
“Ladies and Gentleman Mr. Stephen Tyrone Williams has been offered the Lead MALE Role in my New Spike Lee Joint,” Lee wrote on his Kickstarter page.
Williams was first seen in the Broadway production of Nora Ephron’s “Lucky Guy,” which also stars Tom Hanks. While attending the opening night of the show, Lee was impressed with Williams’ performance.
“Stephen’s performance as Abner Louima was haunting,” Lee says of Williams character in the play. “The Opening Night Audience held their collective captive breath as he retells the terror of being sodomized with a Billy Club by one of New York’s Finest.”
Lee loved his work so much, that he kept in touch in hopes of possibly working together in the future.
“At the After Party, I found Stephen and told him how much I enjoyed his performance and God Willing One day we would be able to work together. Well, that day is here. Stephen Tyrone Williams is gonna do his THANG. And That’s The Bloody Truth Ruth,” Lee wrote.
The only description Lee gives about the movie is that it could revolve around “human beings who are addicted to blood.” He says it’s “funny, sexy and bloody (and not a remake of Blacula).”
The offer was made just two weeks after Lee cast Zaraah Abrahams as the first lead role in the film. Lee stumbled across Abrahams after he watched her co-star in a film produced by one of his students.
“I tracked her down and Zarrah is even better than I thought,” Lee wrote on his Kickstarter page when the news first broke. “If I know anything, I know Young Talent. These are Individuals who have that special something, a true gift from God and they only need the platform, the vehicle to “SHOW DA WORLD” what they got.”