It’s been green-lit, killed, resurrected and put on the back burner, but now it appears that the long-in-the-works film version of Green Day’s American Idiot album might finally become a reality.
On Wednesday (April 13), Reuters reported that Universal is in negotiations to pick up the screen rights to the Broadway version of “Idiot,” and has hired Michael Mayer — who directs the stage production — to shoot the movie version.
Reuters also reported that Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning writer of 2008’s “Milk,” is “in discussions” to write the screenplay, and that Tom Hanks will serve as producer on the film, along with Green Day themselves. (Hanks and his business partner Gary Goetzman were producers on the film version of the Broadway smash “Mamma Mia!” the musical based on the songs of ABBA.)
All of that means that, after a voyage that started way back in 2004 — when Billie Joe Armstrong told MTV News that the bandmembers were “talking” to screenwriters about adapting the album for the big screen — American Idiot could finally find its way to your local multiplex.
In 2006, Armstrong promised fans that the film version of Green Day’s hit album would “definitely … happen,” but the band instead turned their attention to creating their next album (2009’s 21st Century Breakdown) and a stage version of Idiot, which premiered at Berkeley, California’s Berkeley Repertory Theater in ’09 before heading to Broadway. Still, they remained adamant that a film would be coming, with Armstrong telling The Associated Press that it would echo the feel of cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
Hanks’ reported attachment to the project is also interesting, considering that last year, Green Day dismissed his involvement as “just talk.”
A spokesperson for Green Day could not be reached for comment by press time.
Meanwhile, the “American Idiot” musical will officially end its Broadway run on April 24, with Armstrong reprising his role of St. Jimmy.