Jeffrey Wright is to star in 'High and Low'.

Jeffrey Wright is starring in High and Low

Jeffrey Wright is starring in High and Low

The 58-year-old actor is set to join Spike Lee's English-language adaptation of Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's 1963 crime thriller of the same name alongside Denzel Washington and Ilfenesh Hadera.

The original 'High and Low' was loosely based on the 1959 novel 'King's Ransom', written by Evan Hunter under the pen name Ed McBain, and tells the story of a shoe company executive who falls victim to extortion when his chauffeur’s son is kidnapped and held for ransom.

It is not yet clear if Lee's movie will follow the original storyline, while details about Jeffrey's role have not been revealed.

Production on the flick is set to begin this month with Lee writing the screenplay with Alan Fox.

Wright was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for his role as frustrated writer and professor Dr. Thelonious 'Monk' Ellison in the movie 'American Fiction' and praised the promotion of the picture for helping him land the nomination, even though he missed out on the gong.

He told the i newspaper: "I've never had that in my career before. Never. These awards are not a reflection necessarily of the quality of work. There are so many wonderful performances that go unrecognised."

Although Jeffrey had the starring role in 'American Fiction', he is more than happy to play supporting characters – as he has done so in James Bond and 'The Batman'.

He said: "Yeah, I don't always need to be the lead in a film. I think it's healthy to play supporting roles, too. It's good for the ego."