Spike Lee to Direct Filmed Version of "David Byrne's American Utopia"

Browse by:
Year
Browse by:
Publish date (field_publish_date)
Submitted by nonesuch on Sat, 02/01/2020 - 07:30
Article Type
Publish date
Excerpt

Academy Award–winning director Spike Lee will direct a filmed version of the acclaimed Broadway show David Byrne’s American Utopia, due later this year. Participant will be the lead financier and executive producer for the project, which River Road Entertainment and Warner Music Group will also co-finance. “Pinch me. This couldn't have worked out better for this project,” Byrne said. “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.”

Copy

Academy Award–winning director Spike Lee will direct a filmed version of the acclaimed Broadway show David Byrne’s American Utopia, due for release later this year. Participant will be the lead financier and executive producer for the project, which River Road Entertainment and Warner Music Group will also co-finance. The film will be produced by RadicalMedia, as well as David Byrne’s Todomundo and Lee’s Forty Acres and a Mule Filmworks production companies.

“Pinch me. This couldn't have worked out better for this project,” Byrne said. “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 is a true celebration from a great artist and a beautiful reminder to our nation that we are all born barefoot and wearing the same suit,” said Participant CEO David Linde. “We are incredibly excited to work with Mr. Byrne and the incomparable Spike Lee, along with RadicalMedia, River Road, and Warner Music Group in bringing this one-of-a-kind event out of the theater to audiences around the world.”

Stop Making Sense is one of the greatest music performance films ever,” said Jon Kamen, RadicalMedia CEO. “To have the opportunity to revisit the genius of David Byrne with American Utopia and produce a bookend film with Spike Lee and Ellen Kuras is a dream.”

David Byrne, Spike Lee and Participant’s Jeff Skoll, David Linde, and Diane Weyermann will executive produce the film, along with Nonesuch Records President David Bither and Warner Music Group's Charlie Cohen, and Kurt Deutsch; Bill Pohlad of River Road; and RadicalMedia’s Jon Kamen, Dave Sirulnick and Meredith Bennett. Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson, and Patrick Catullo, who lead produced the Broadway production, will also serve as executive producers.

David Byrne’s American Utopia opened October 2019 and runs through February 16, 2020, at the Hudson Theatre, where it has played to sold-out, record-breaking houses. For the show, Byrne is joined by eleven musical artists from around the world performing songs from his 2018 album of the same name along with songs from Talking Heads and his solo career.

The New York Times called David Byrne’s American Utopia “an expansive, dazzlingly staged concert,” featuring “exacting, exciting and altogether astonishing choreography” by renowned American choreographer Annie-B Parson, with Tony-nominated Alex Timbers serving as production consultant, both of whom previously collaborated with Byrne on the acclaimed Imelda Marcos musical Here Lies Love. American Utopia has lighting design by Rob Sinclair and sound design by Pete Keppler. Karl Mansfield and Mauro Refosco are musical directors.

The original American Utopia album was released by Nonesuch Records in 2018. The record received a Grammy nomination and was Byrne's first to reach No. 1 on the Album Chart; it was also his first to reach the Top Five on the Billboard 200 chart. The concert tour in support of American Utopia included more than 150 dates in twenty-seven countries over nine months. NME said it “may just be the best live show of all time.” Nonesuch released the cast album for the Broadway production of David Byrne’s American Utopia in 2019. The label has released eight other David Byrne records since 2003, including two versions of his musical Here Lies Love.

featuredimage
David Byrne's American Utopia on Broadway by Matthew Murphy dk
  • Saturday, February 1, 2020
    Spike Lee to Direct Filmed Version of "David Byrne's American Utopia"
    Matthew Murphy

    Academy Award–winning director Spike Lee will direct a filmed version of the acclaimed Broadway show David Byrne’s American Utopia, due for release later this year. Participant will be the lead financier and executive producer for the project, which River Road Entertainment and Warner Music Group will also co-finance. The film will be produced by RadicalMedia, as well as David Byrne’s Todomundo and Lee’s Forty Acres and a Mule Filmworks production companies.

    “Pinch me. This couldn't have worked out better for this project,” Byrne said. “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 is a true celebration from a great artist and a beautiful reminder to our nation that we are all born barefoot and wearing the same suit,” said Participant CEO David Linde. “We are incredibly excited to work with Mr. Byrne and the incomparable Spike Lee, along with RadicalMedia, River Road, and Warner Music Group in bringing this one-of-a-kind event out of the theater to audiences around the world.”

    Stop Making Sense is one of the greatest music performance films ever,” said Jon Kamen, RadicalMedia CEO. “To have the opportunity to revisit the genius of David Byrne with American Utopia and produce a bookend film with Spike Lee and Ellen Kuras is a dream.”

    David Byrne, Spike Lee and Participant’s Jeff Skoll, David Linde, and Diane Weyermann will executive produce the film, along with Nonesuch Records President David Bither and Warner Music Group's Charlie Cohen, and Kurt Deutsch; Bill Pohlad of River Road; and RadicalMedia’s Jon Kamen, Dave Sirulnick and Meredith Bennett. Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson, and Patrick Catullo, who lead produced the Broadway production, will also serve as executive producers.

    David Byrne’s American Utopia opened October 2019 and runs through February 16, 2020, at the Hudson Theatre, where it has played to sold-out, record-breaking houses. For the show, Byrne is joined by eleven musical artists from around the world performing songs from his 2018 album of the same name along with songs from Talking Heads and his solo career.

    The New York Times called David Byrne’s American Utopia “an expansive, dazzlingly staged concert,” featuring “exacting, exciting and altogether astonishing choreography” by renowned American choreographer Annie-B Parson, with Tony-nominated Alex Timbers serving as production consultant, both of whom previously collaborated with Byrne on the acclaimed Imelda Marcos musical Here Lies Love. American Utopia has lighting design by Rob Sinclair and sound design by Pete Keppler. Karl Mansfield and Mauro Refosco are musical directors.

    The original American Utopia album was released by Nonesuch Records in 2018. The record received a Grammy nomination and was Byrne's first to reach No. 1 on the Album Chart; it was also his first to reach the Top Five on the Billboard 200 chart. The concert tour in support of American Utopia included more than 150 dates in twenty-seven countries over nine months. NME said it “may just be the best live show of all time.” Nonesuch released the cast album for the Broadway production of David Byrne’s American Utopia in 2019. The label has released eight other David Byrne records since 2003, including two versions of his musical Here Lies Love.

    Journal Articles:Artist NewsFilm

Enjoy This Post?

Get weekly updates right in your inbox.
terms

X By submitting my information, I agree to receive personalized updates and marketing messages about Nonesuch based on my information, interests, activities, website visits and device data and in accordance with the Privacy Policy. I understand that I can opt-out at any time by emailing privacypolicy@wmg.com.

Thank you!
x

Welcome to Nonesuch's mailing list!

Customize your notifications for tour dates near your hometown, birthday wishes, or special discounts in our online store!
terms

By submitting my information, I agree to receive personalized updates and marketing messages about Nonesuch based on my information, interests, activities, website visits and device data and in accordance with the Privacy Policy. I understand that I can opt-out at any time by emailing privacypolicy@wmg.com.

Related Posts

  • Friday, November 18, 2022
    Friday, November 18, 2022

    Natalie Merchant has been appointed to the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center Board of Trustees by US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to support the ongoing preservation and promotion of the country’s folklore, cultural traditions, music, and arts, and aid in the long-term planning and policy direction of the center. Merchant says: "It’s such an honor to be selected to serve on the Folklife Center board. I’ve admired the work of this agency for many years and hope to find some way to help further their mission of preserving and promoting all forms of folk arts in America."

    Journal Topics: Artist News
  • Thursday, November 17, 2022
    Thursday, November 17, 2022

    I Love a Love Song!, the second album from Rachael & Vilray—Lake Street Dive singer/songwriter Rachael Price and composer, singer, and guitarist Vilray—is due January 13. It features eleven new songs written by Vilray plus the 1930s classic "Goodnight My Love" written by Mack Gordon and Harry Revel. The album was produced, engineered, and mixed by Dan Knobler and features arrangements from Jacob Zimmerman. Nonesuch Store pre-orders include an exclusive autographed print in one of four colors selected at random. A new song, “Is a Good Man Real?,” debuts today; you can watch a video for it, filmed in the studio, here.

    Journal Topics: Album ReleaseArtist NewsVideo