The Entertainment One film is based on David Kushner’s Esquire article titled “All Rise: The Untold Story of the Guys Who Launched Viagra.”
Lee is directing the untitled musical from a screenplay he wrote with Kwame Kwei-Armah. The movie will feature original songs and music penned by Stew Stewart and Heidi Rodewald, the duo behind the Tony-winning musical “Passing Strange.”
In a statement, Lee said, “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 with Lee’s 40 Acres and Mule Filmworks. Joanne Lee of Jackson Pictures and Kushner are executive producing. Zev Foreman and Ilda Diffley are overseeing for eOne.
Lee recently directed the movie version of David Byrne’s hit musical “American Utopia,” as well as war drama “Da 5 Bloods” for Netflix. The prolific director behind acclaimed films like “Do the Right Thing,” “Malcolm X” and “She’s Gotta Have It” won his first Oscar for 2018’s “BlacKkKlansman.”
British playwright and director Kwei-Armah has directed London stage adaptations of “Twelfth Night” and “Tree.”
Lee is represented by ICM. Jackson Pictures is represented by CAA and Manatt. Kwei-Armah is represented by The Gotham Group and United Agents. Kushner is represented by The Gotham Group. Stewart and Rodewald are represented by Verve.
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