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

Byrne’s avant-garde concert is now running at Broadway’s Hudson Theatre.

David Byrne's American Utopia will be captured on film with direction by Spike Lee.
David Byrne's American Utopia will be captured on film with direction by Spike Lee.
(© Matthew Murphy)

Oscar winner Spike Lee has signed on to direct a filmed version of David Byrne's American Utopia, currently running at Broadway's Hudson Theatre. Participant, a film production company with a mission to spur social change, will be the lead financier and executive producer for the project, with co-financing by River Road Entertainment and Warner Music Group. 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.

American Utopia began as an album that David Byrne released on Nonesuch Records in March 2018. The recording was his first to reach No. 1 on the Album Chart and was also his first to reach the Top Five on the Billboard 200 chart. The concert, which features choreography and musical staging by Annie-B Parson, includes songs from American Utopia along with songs from Talking Heads and Byrne's solo career. The show began its Broadway run on October 4, 2019 and is set to play its final performance on February 16. The film, which will capture a live performance of the Broadway production, is planned for a 2020 release.

"Pinch me. This couldn't have worked out better for this project," Byrne said in a statement. "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."