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Spike Lee set to direct film version of David Byrne’s ‘American Utopia’

It has just been announced that Spike Lee will be directing an adaptation of David Byrne’s American Utopia.

The film, which is a direct cinema adaptation of the hit Broadway show by the Talking Heads frontman, is set for release sometime this year.

David Byrne’s acclaimed show American Utopia will be adapted to film with the help of Academy Award-winning director Spike Lee.

The film will be executive produced by socially conscious production company, Participant, as well as Byrne, Lee, and more. Production duties will be carried out by Byrne’s own Todomundo, Lee’s Forty Acres, and Mule Filmworks production companies, as well as RadicalMedia.

Speaking to Deadline about the film, Byrne described:

“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.”

American Utopia opened on Broadway back in October 2019 and is scheduled to run until February 16 at Hudson Theatre in New York. When it debuted in England last year, NME said that it “may just be the best live show of all time”. 

The show itself is an adaptation of his 2018 album of the same name and includes material from the album, as well as songs from the Talking Heads catalogue – infused with an optimistic political and social commentary.

Last year, Byrne launched Reasons To Be Cheerful – an online magazine dedicated to positive news.

Spike Lee is also currently slated to direct Prince of Cats, a retelling of Romeo & Juliet, told from the perspective of Juliet’s first cousin, Tybalt.

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February 3, 2020