Spike Lee to direct film version of David Byrne’s Broadway show; Byrne to perform on ‘SNL’ this month

Credit: Jody RogacIt’s quite an eventful time for David Byrne. It was announced this past week that Oscar-winning filmmaker Spike Lee will direct a movie version of the ex-Talking Heads frontman’s Broadway show, David Byrne’s American Utopia, and that Byrne will be the musical guest on the February 29 episode of Saturday Night Live.

According to Deadline, the film is being executive produced by Byrne, Lee and key executives of the Participant film-production company, among others, and is expected to be released later this year.

“Pinch me. This couldn’t have worked out better for this project,” says Byrne in a statement. “Spike Lee directing and Participant producing — two socially engaged teams, well, three if you count us in the band, coming together in what I feel will be something moving, important, and unlike anything anyone has seen before.”

David Byrne’s American Utopia is an adaptation of the concerts that the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer played on his tour supporting his 2018 solo album, American Utopia. The show opened this past October at New York’s Hudson Theatre and runs through a February 16 performance.

The American Utopia show features Byrne accompanied by 11 musicians, dancers and singers from around the world who move freely about an almost-empty stage. The production includes material from the American Utopia album, other Byrne solo tunes and several Talking Heads songs. A cast album for the show was released late last year.

Byrne’s SNL performance later this month will be his first since a November 1989 appearance on the late-night show. David also performed on SNL with Talking Heads in February 1979.

The February 29 SNL episode will be hosted by comedian John Mulaney, whose new Netflix special, John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch, also features Byrne.

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