EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures Content Group is set to land international rights to Spike Lee’s David Byrne’s American Utopia following the concert film’s opening-night screening at the Toronto Film Festival.
HBO has domestic rights to the filmed version of the former Talking Heads frontman’s acclaimed Broadway show, and the pic is set to release stateside on October 17. Watch the first trailer here.
Universal Pictures CG is tying up a deal for all international rights and is eyeing a rollout starting in November. The film also will have its European premiere at the BFI London Film Festival on October 14.
Participant are executive producing and financing the project with River Road Entertainment, Warner Music Entertainment and Radical Media.
American Utopia launched on Broadway in 2019, with Lee filming the production in early 2020 during its Hudson Theatre run. The concert comprises performances of songs from Byrne’s 2018 solo album of the same name as well as works from his Talking Heads years such as “Once in a Lifetime” and “Burning Down the House.” Byrne also covered Janelle Monáe’s “Hell You Talmbout,” a protest song about police brutality.
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