Spike Lee’s next project will be a movie musical based on the origin story of the Pfizer erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, the filmmaker announced Tuesday, November 17th.
Based on David Kushner’s 2018 article “All Rise: The Untold Story of the Guys Who Launched Viagra,” originally published in Esquire, the movie will be directed by Lee from a screenplay he wrote with Kwame Kwei-Armah. The film will feature original songs by Stew Stewart and Heidi Rodewald, who also wrote for the Tony Award-winning musical Passing Strange.
Alongside the movie announcement, Lee released a statement that served as a dedication to his mother, who inspired his love for movie musicals:
“First And Foremost,I Thank Ms. Jacquelyn Shelton Lee. I Thank My Late Mother For As She Would Say Taking ‘My Narrow,Rusty Behind’ Dragging,Kickin’ And Screamin’ To The Movies When I Wuz A Nappy Headed Kid Growing Up In Da Streets Of Da People’s Republic Of Brooklyn. I Did Not Want To See Corny People Singin’ And Dancin’. I Instead Wanted To Play With My Friends On Da Block,Stoop Ball,Stick Ball,Punch Ball, Soft Ball, Basketball,2 Hand Touch, Tackle Football, Coco Leevio, Johnny On Da Pony, Hot,Peas And Butter, Crack Top,Down Da Sewer And Of Course-Booty’s Up. All The Great New York City Street Games That Might Be Sadly Lost Forever. My Father,Bill Lee,Jazz/Folk Bassist,Composer HATED HollyWeird Movies,Henceforth And What Not,Me Being The Eldest Of 5 Children I Became Mommy’s Movie Date. She Was A Cinefile. Thank You Lawdy She Didn’t Listen To My Ongoing Complaints About Musicals. So Finally Going Into My 4th Decade As A Filmmaker I Will Be Directing An DANCIN’,ALL SINGIN’ MUSICAL Spike Lee Joint And I Can’t Wait. My Moms Has Been Waiting TOO!!! And Dats Da Rodgers And Hammerstein Truth,Ruth.”
Matt Jackson’s Jackson Pictures will produce the project alongside Lee’s 40 Acres and Mule Filmworks. Joanne Lee of Jackson Pictures and Kushner are executive producers.
This year, Lee directed the filmed version of David Byrne’s stage show American Utopia, as well as the Netflix original, Da 5 Bloods.
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