Spike Lee has directed films about a quest for black detectives to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan, a bombing of an Alabama church, and the US government’s response to Hurricane Katrina.
But for his latest project, a musical that chronicles the invention of Viagra, the first drug approved by the FDA to treat erectile dysfunction, he took a song-and-dance approach.
I will lead a dancer, while singing musical, he wrote in a statement announcing the project on Tuesday.
The film will be based on a Esquire 2018 article who traced the discovery and marketing of the drug, Deadline first reported. Lee will write the screenplay with British playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah. Songwriters Stew Stewart and Heidi Rodewald, who created the Tony-winning musical Passing Strange, will compose the music. (Lee filmed this musical as a concert film during his Broadway tour in 2008.)
Nice to dance with Brother Spike, Kwei-Armah wrote on Twitter Tuesday. Kwei-Armah is also the artistic director of the Young Vic Theater in London.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Lee is known for tackling serious subjects with a sharp gaze. His most recent projects include Da 5 Bloods, a war drama about a group of black veterans returning to Vietnam, and BlackKkKlansman, a dark comedy about the first African-American detective in a police department, which won Lee a Academy Award for best adaptation. scenario. Lee also adapted his groundbreaking 1986 debut, Shes Gotta Have It, into a 2017 series that ran for two seasons on Netflix.
But he’s no stranger to musicals, either: this fall he released his film production of David Byrnes’ Broadway American Utopia concert; in 1988, he directed School Daze, a film filled with musical numbers on the political and social clashes between students in a historically black college.
In his statement announcing the project, Lee thanked his late mother for dragging him to the movies and screaming at the movies while growing up in Brooklyn. I didn’t want to see nerdy people singing and dancing he wrote it was basketball, soccer, crack top, down the sewer and a number of other street games in NYC that had his heart.
He wrote that as the oldest of five children and with a father who hated the HollyWeird movies, he became his mother’s movie date.
Thanks Lawdy, she didn’t listen to my ongoing complaints about musicals, he wrote.
No release date or casting for the project has been announced. A representative for Lee did not immediately respond to whether the project would be a sung musical or simply include songs interspersed with dialogue.
Viagra, known generically as Sildenafil Citrate, was patented by drug maker Pfizer in the 1990s and was initially used as a treatment for heart-related chest pain. But the drug’s vessel-expanding effects meant it was also helpful in allowing blood to pump to other areas of the body. It made its commercial debut in the United States in 1998 after the FDA approved it for use in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
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