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HBO to Present Spike Lee Directed David Byrne’s ‘American Utopia’

HBO to Present Spike Lee Directed David Byrne’s ‘American Utopia’

  • HBO will debut the film of David Byrne's Broadway show 'American Utopia' directed by Spike Lee.

HBO has announced it will present the filmed version of the acclaimed Broadway show David Byrne’s American Utopia, directed by Academy Award-winning director Spike Lee. The announcement was made by Nina Rosenstein, Executive Vice President who also said the film will debut later this year.

The Broadway show is a unifying musical celebration that inspires audiences to connect to each other and to the global community.

“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,” said Rosenstein. “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.”

“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,” said Byrne. “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,” stated Spike Lee. “And dat’s da ‘once in a lifetime’ truth, Ruth. Ya-dig? Sho-nuff. Peace and love. Be safe.”

Participant, River Road Entertainment and Warner Music Entertainment are executive producing and financing the project, with Participant as lead. The film is produced by Byrne’s Todomundo and Lee’s Forty Acres and a Mule Filmworks production companies and executive produced by RadicalMedia. Byrne and Lee serve as producers.  Participant’s Jeff Skoll, David Linde, and Diane Weyermann executive produce; along with Warner Music Group’s Len Blavatnik, David Bither, Charlie Cohen, and Kurt Deutsch; Bill Pohlad and Christa Zofcin Workman of River Road; and RadicalMedia’s Jon Kamen, Dave Sirulnick and Meredith Bennett. Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson and Patrick Catullo, who lead produced the Broadway production, also serve as executive producers.

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This one-of-a-kind, dynamic film gives audiences around the world access to Byrne’s electrifying Broadway show that played to sold-out, record-breaking audiences during its run from October 2019 to February 2020 at Broadway’s Hudson Theater. 

The Broadway production featured the work of renowned American choreographer Annie-B Parson and Tony-nominated Alex Timbers serving as production consultant, both of whom previously collaborated with Byrne on the acclaimed Imelda Marcos musical Here Lies Love; lighting design by Rob Sinclair and sound design by Pete Keppler; Karl Mansfield and Mauro Refosco are musical directors.

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