Spike Lee is currently basking in some of the best film reviews of the year for his Vietnam War epic “Da 5 Bloods,” which launched June 12 on Netflix and rocketed to the top of the streamer’s most-watched chart, but that won’t be the only new Spike Lee joint released in 2020. HBO has announced it has picked up the rights to release a filmed version of the director’s Broadway show “David Byrne’s American Utopia” later this year. The film is a recording of the musician’s eponymous Broadway show, in which he performed songs alongside 11 other musicians from around the world.
“‘David Byrne’s American Utopia’ is a uniquely transformative experience and a perfect example of how entertainment can bring us together during these challenging times,” HBO programming executive vice president Nina Rosenstein said in a statement. “Spike’s brilliant direction adds a level of intimacy to this powerful performance, and we’re so thrilled to share this groundbreaking show with our audience.”
David Byrne added of the project, “Spike and I have crossed paths many times over the years, obviously I’m a huge fan and now finally here was an opportunity for us to work together. I am absolutely thrilled with the result. The Broadway show was a wonderful challenge as well as an opportunity – it was a joy to perform and, well, best to let the quotes speak for themselves. Thrilled that this show and the subjects it addresses will now reach a wider audience.”
“It is my honor and privilege that my art brother, Mr. David Byrne, asked me to join him in concert, to invite me into his magnificent world of ‘American Utopia,’” Lee said. “And dat’s da ‘once in a lifetime’ truth, Ruth. Ya-dig? Sho-nuff. Peace and love. Be safe.”
“David Byrne’s American Utopia” ran at Broadway’s Hudson Theater from October 2019 to February 2020. The concert found Byrne and his fellow musicians performing songs from his 2018 album of the same name, plus classics from the Talking Heads catalogue and Byrne’s solo career. HBO has not announced a release date for Lee’s concert film but it did confirm it will debut “later this year.” Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods” is now streaming on Netflix.