Oscar winner Spike Lee will film American Utopia, the theatrical concert event from former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne, for future release.
The Broadway production, which officially opened October 20, 2019, is currently playing an extended run at the Hudson Theatre through February 16.
American Utopia reunites Academy, Grammy, and Golden Globe Award-winning musician Byrne with director Alex Timbers, who is the production consultant, and choreographer Annie-B Parson, his collaborators on the acclaimed Imelda Marcos musical Here Lies Love. Click here to read the Broadway reviews.
Lee previously filmed the Broadway productions of Passing Strange and Freak, the latter starring John Leguizamo. A four-time Academy Award nominee, Lee won the Oscar in 2019 for Best Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman. He also received an Honorary Academy Award in 2016. On Broadway, he directed and produced Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth.
Participant will executive produce, with RadicalMedia, Byrne's Todomundo, and Lee's Forty Acres and a Mule Filmworks billed as producers as well. River Road Entertainment and Warner Music Group will co-finance. No word yet on a release timeline.
American Utopia features songs from Byrne's 2018 album of the same name, along with hits from his time as Talking Heads frontman and throughout his solo career. Joining him onstage are an eclectic group of international musicians: Jacquelene Acevedo, Gustavo Di Dalva, Daniel Freedman, Chris Giarmo, Tim Keiper, Tendayi Kuumba, Karl Mansfield, Mauro Refosco, Stéphane San Juan, Angie Swan, and Bobby Wooten III.
American Utopia began as an album that Byrne released on Nonesuch Records in March 2018. The recording was his first to reach No. 1 on the Album Chart and was also his first to reach the Top Five on the Billboard 200 chart. The theatrical concert played more than 150 dates in 27 countries over nine months in 2018, and was named Best International Contemporary Concert at Australia’s 2019 Helpmann Awards.