Billie Joe Armstrong Will Be St. Jimmy in American Idiot Film
By Kenneth Jones
Rocker Billie Joe Armstrong will play the drug-dealing fiend St. Jimmy in the film version of the Broadway musical American Idiot, according to The Hollywood Reporter. A 2013 release date is planned by Tom Hanks' Playtone Productions, which was behind the smash musical film "Mamma Mia!"
When Green Day frontman Armstrong briefly stepped into the Broadway run of the musical-theatre expansion/adaptation of the Grammy Award-winning Green Day album, the box office at the St. James Theatre soared. His appearance in the film version (to be directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer) is expected to generate serious and important box-office interest from the title's core fans — millions of Green Day listeners.
Playtone also has the rights to the film version of Broadway's Tony Award-winning Best Musical of 2007, Spring Awakening, for which Mayer won a Tony for his direction.
Mayer conceived and co-wrote the libretto to American Idiot, borrowing all of the songs from the hit album of the same name (and adding other Green Day songs into the mix) to tell a mostly dialogue-free new story about a trio of pals seeking sex, love, drugs, connection and purpose in post-9/11 America.
The Broadway run of American Idiot ran April 20, 2010-April 24, 2011. The intermissionless 90-minute show had a book by Mayer and Armstrong, lyrics by Armstrong and music by Green Day. It was nominated for a Best Musical Tony Award, and won Tonys for its scenic and lighting design.
Mayer directed the pilot of the new theatre-based TV series "Smash," set to launch in early 2012 on NBC. His feature film-directing credits include "Flicka" (2006) and "A Home at the End of the World" (2004).
Casting and additional personnel for the film "American Idiot" have not been announced. On Mayer's short-term schedule are the national tour of American Idiot and a revised revival of the 1960s musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever starring Harry Connick, Jr. (to launch on Broadway this fall).
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