Green Day’s Broadway musical American Idiot looks like it will be getting a film adaptation, with lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong possibly playing a starring role. According to Deadline, Universal Pictures is in the process of converting the musical to film, with Michael Mayer set to direct and Dustin Lance Black (Milk) in talks to pen the script.
American Idiot is a musical set to the punk rock tunes of Green Day’s seminal 2004 album of the same name. Mayer also directed the Broadway version, which ends its run on April 24 and will tour this fall. The musical follows three small-town youths as they grow up and apart; fledglings leaving the safe nest of suburbia, experiencing life and loss and disillusionment. Armstrong wrote all the lyrics to the musical, and according to a Playbill report he had a film or stage version in mind when he was developing the concept for the album.
The album was developed with a kind of plot arc, and took inspiration from rock operas/musicals like The Rocky Horror Picture Show and West Side Story. Armstrong himself took on the role of drug dealer St. Jimmy periodically, and will most likely be hit up to play the same role in the film version.
Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman of Playtone optioned the rights to American Idiot before it opened last year. They are also responsible for turning stage musical Mamma Mia! into a Universal film. Mamma Mia! struck me as a little awkward and ridiculous, and I’m worried American Idiot will follow in its dubious footsteps. And for those of you jonesing for more film musicals, word has it that Universal has plans for Cameron Makintosh’s Les Miserables and eventually a film adaptation of Wicked.