I’ll admit I’ve got a soft spot for Green Day. “Dookie” was one of only a dozen or so cassettes I owned throughout middle school (Columbia House was too rich for my blood, but BMG Music Service was my homeboy). I lost track of them by the time American Idiot came out and was eventually adapted into a play. For one week of the play’s run on Broadway, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong filled in for the lead actor playing St. Jimmy; gross sales increased 127% during that week. It makes sense, then, that Armstrong will be reprising the role of St. Jimmy.
Last year Armstrong told Playbill, “The thought was always sort of that [the album] would be staged or we’d create a film or something. We were thinking in terms that it kind of felt like scoring a movie or something.” So it’s fitting that Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone Productions are adapting the musical for the screen, planning for a 2013 release. This will be the second musical produced by Hanks and Goetzman’s company, the first being Mamma Mia! which grossed over $600 million.
The plot of American Idiot is said to follow “the coming of age of three small-town guys — one joins the armed forces, another moves to the city and gets mired in a drug habit, the third stays home and gets his girlfriend pregnant.” Not much dialogue is apparently spoken, with the music of the album being the main focus. That makes it interesting – at least to me – that they would hire Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black for this job, but it should at least add some pedigree to this production. [TheFilmStage]
So, to summarize, the guy who wrote a concept album which was adapted into a play will play the lead in the movie based on the play based on the concept album. We need to go deeper.