The premium cable network announced on Thursday (Jan. 14) that production on the new documentary will begin tomorrow in the Big Easy and will debut on HBO in late summer, marking the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
"Producer-editor Sam Pollard and I are elated to return to New Orleans, Louisiana and the other Gulf States to pick up where we left with 'When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.' This coming August 29, 2010 will be five years since one of the greatest American tragedies," says an uncredited quote in the HBO press release that we assume should be attributed to Lee, who will direct and produce the untited film. "If God is willing and the creek don't rise, we will reach the same level of heartfelt stories – human stories told by the great people of The Gulf States."
Adds HBO Documentary Films President Sheila Devins, "'When the Levees Broke' was a landmark in documentary filmmaking. It's an exciting notion to anticipate Spike going back for this reprise."
"When the Levees Broke" premiered in 2006 and won three Emmys including Exception Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking and a Nonfiction Programming directing prize for Lee. The documentary won a Peabody Award and was nominated for a trio of Television Critics Association Awards, including Program of the Year.
HBO is making a fairly heavily investment in New Orleans this spring. The David Simon drama "Treme" premieres in April and also looks at the Crescent City post-Katrina.