Green Day's "American Idiot" could be headed to the movies
"American Idiot," first a Green Day album and then a Broadway and soon to be a touring stage show, may be shaping up to be a major motion picture if Tom Hanks and Universal Pictures have their way.
Hanks' Playtone Productions optioned the movie rights to the project early in its Broadway discussion phase and Universal Pictures is now reported to be moving forward with aligning key personnel to the project.
According to published reports, Dustin Lance Black, who handled screenplay duties on "Milk" and the upcoming "J. Edgar," has been brought aboard to work up the screen adaptation of the stage musical. Michael Mayer, director of the stage version, reportedly is in the director's chair.
Billie Joe Armstrong, frontman and chief songwriter of Green Day, is reported to be in discussions to take on his first major film role in the guise of lead character St. Jimmy, a role he played briefly on stage as a substitute for the musical's lead actor, Tony Vincent.
Hanks and Playtone partner Gary Goetzman come to the project after taking the ABBA-themed musical "Mamma Mia" down a similar path in 2008. The movie met with wild success, ultimately ranking as the third most-successful movie musical of all time.
The Playtone name itself hails from the fictional label in Hanks' 1996 rock-band movie "That Thing You Do." Since then, the Playtone imprint has attached itself to a few musical projects, including "Mamma Mia," the Neil Young 2006 documentary, "Heart Of Gold," and the "25th Anniversary Rock and Rock Hall Of Fame Concert" special which aired on HBO in 2009.