Wednesday, January 26, 2011

American Idiot Film

It's hard to believe that Green Day's American Idiot was released over six years ago. But perhaps what's more amazing is the impact it's still having on not only the punk scene, but American pop-culture in general.

The Grammy winning album that burned classics like "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and "Wake Me Up When September Ends" into the heads of millions worldwide is now a musical on Broadway. In fact, in the coming weeks, the show will star Melissa Etheridge as the record's protagonist, St. Jimmy (a spot currently being played by Green Day vocalist, Billie Joe Armstrong).

But the band, along with the musical's producers, are looking to take the phenomenon that is American Idiot beyond the stage. That's right, straight to the big screen.

While all this still remains in talks, both Armstrong and musical director Michael Mayer said the album is suited perfectly for film. Think about it. American Idiot is a rock-opera built around the lives of American youth trying to make sense of their lives, their dreams and the decay of suburbia in a post-9/11 world. The story is as visually appealing as the record is musically riveting.

Mayer recently told the New York Times that, "There are people who have the ability to make it [a film version] happen, who have expressed genuine interest in it, and we want to do it, so I think it could happen."

So what about characters? Who would play that coveted spot of St. Jimmy? When the Times asked both Armstrong and Mayer that question, Armstrong simply smiled and shrugged - to which Mayer responded, "I think it's a no-brainer."

The impact that a film version of the musical/rock-opera could have on pop-culture is massive. The musical alone has grown exponentially. Starting off in the Berkeley Repertory Theater in California in September of 2009, the production has since moved to the St. James Theater on Broadway where it's been playing non-stop since March 2010.

A movie, nationwide, could essentially connect the masses to the message once again, as it was in '04 and '05 when Green Day toured relentlessly in support of the album.

And beyond all that American Idiot has become, Armstrong says he's got his sights set on some new types of writing.

"I think I'd be interested in the future of really getting into writing specifically for a [theater] show," Armstrong told the Times. "The kind of music that I like is very immediate and very catchy, and you identify with it quickly, and I try to write that way. And in musical theater it's the same thing: you identify with the songs immediately, the good ones anyway."

So there you have it, Green Day enthusiasts. You might not have to make the pilgrimage to NYC to catch American Idiot live after all. You lucky punks.

**We'd like to thank our correspondent K.C. for the research for this post**

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