Derek Luke has replaced Wesley Snipes in a lead role in Spike Lee’s WWII drama “Miracle at St. Anna” reports Variety.
Snipes withdrew because it became too difficult for him to leave the U.S. and shoot in Italy while he fights federal tax-fraud charges.
Touchstone is in talks for domestic distribution rights on the independently financed film which begins filming in Italy shortly.
Luke will play one of four members of the U.S. Army’s all-black 92nd Division who get separated from their squad behind enemy lines.
The soldiers, bitter about racism and the feeling that their own government treats its enemy better than it does them, finds humanity in the small Tuscan village of St. Anna.
John Turturro, James Gandolfini, Michael Ealy, Omar Benson and Tory Kittles also star. James McBride wrote the script.