Spike Lee to direct film adaption of David Byrne’s American Utopia

A film version of Byrne's Broadway production is due out in 2020

David Byrne and Spike Lee
David Byrne (photo by Caroline Daniel) and Spike Lee

What began as an album, and was turned into a Broadway musical, is now becoming a Spike Lee joint.

Deadline reports that Lee is adapting a feature-length film version of David Byrne’s American Utopia. Participant, which is distributing the film, has set a 2020 release.

In a statement, Byrne said: “Pinch me. This couldn’t have worked out better for this project. Spike Lee directing and Participant producing—two socially engaged teams, well, three if you count us in the band, coming together in what I feel will be something moving, important, and unlike anything anyone has seen before.”

Based on Byrne’s 2018 album of the same name, American Utopia opened in October 2019 and runs through February 16 at the Hudson Theatre. On stage, Byrne is joined by 11 piece mobile ensemble playing songs from American Utopia, other tracks from his solo catalog, and Talking Heads material. Annie-B Parson, who worked with Byrne on his preceding “American Utopia Tour”, scripted the show’s staging and choreography.

Tickets to the remaining Broadway shows are available here.

Byrne and Parson discussed the choreography of the “American Utopia Tour” during a visit to This Must Be the Gig. Listen to the episode below.

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