March 23, 2010

Tom Hanks working on movie deal for Green Day's 'American Idiot' musical? broke an exclusive last night, saying that Tom Hanks' production company is in talks with whoever owns the rights to the musical (can't tell if it's Billie Joe Armstrong or Green Day or even partially Michael Mayer) to adapt it into movie form. After much success with the adaptation of Mamma Mia, $610 million worldwide, the company must be itching to turn another musical into a movie, and why wouldn't they be?

The story centers on three kids coming of age in Jingletown, USA, all going their separate ways after growing up watching too much TV. Sounds like modern Shakespeare to me...

The musical made it's off-Broadway debut at the Berkeley Repertory Theater on September 15th, and ended a record-busting run on November 15th after two extensions. After a performance by the band with the cast at the Grammy's, expectations are running high for it's run at the St. James Theater in New York, set to begin on April 20th, coincidence?

Hanks doesn't seem to want to wait until the musical achieves Broadway success. My bet is that he's understandably worried that the more critical acclaim the musical receives, the more expensive the rights to make the movie are going to get. Amid mild success on stage, the movie would have the ability to garner an audience of a reasonable size, even though the musical is relatively dialogue-free. Add to that the Green Day fans that will go see it just because, and Hanks will buy himself another couple hundred million at the box office at least.

As far as Playtone's music movies go, I'm rooting for another That Thing You Do rather than Mamma Mia, but then again isn't everybody?

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