Once in a lifetime: Spike Lee set to direct movie adaptation of David Byrne’s ‘American Utopia’

"Pinch me. This couldn’t have worked out better for this project," Byrne says.

Spike Lee is set to direct a movie adaptation of David Byrne‘s ‘American Utopia’ tour, it’s been confirmed.

As Deadline report, the feature-length adaptation of the live show – which NME lauded as “the most ambitious and impressive live show of all time”, a quote Byrne then duly named a live EP of the tour after – will come out in 2020 and be executive produced by Byrne himself.

Speaking about the film in a statement, Byrne said: “Pinch me. This couldn’t have worked out better for this project.


“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. Credit: Matthew Murphy

NME recently travelled to New York City to see the Broadway adaptation of the ‘American Utopia’ tour, concluding that it’s “still the best musical experience on the planet.”

“You sense that Byrne always knew where a show like this could end up: on Broadway,” Thomas Smith continued. “It’s a live concert, but unlike many live shows it has a narrative beyond the simple ‘artist plays songs, fans cheer, we all go home’.

“The songs featured in American Utopia are forthright pleas and musings on a country that might one day build a better home for everyone in it. That kind of connection can only work in the most intimate of settings.”