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Dustin Lance Black Becomes an ‘American Idiot’ For Universal

It was inevitable that a movie studio would pick up the highly successful Broadway musical based on the highly successful compact disc put out by band Green Day. It’s fitting that it would be Universal to option American Idiot considering their growing interest in musical storytelling – or at least their proposed future in interest in telling stories like Les Miserable and Wicked.

Deadline Neches is reporting that the studio has hired Dustin Lance Black (Milk, J. Edgar) to write his first screenplay that doesn’t involve real-life political figures. His skill is unmistakable though, and his political experience will help color this story about three small-town guys despairing at their suburban existence through pop-punk. I, for one, welcome the adaptation because it’s high time a screen musical involved shooting up heroin.

Universal has also signed Michael Mayer to direct the film, which is an interesting choice. His Tony-winning, Broadway background is notable, and he’s directed two features including A Home at the End of the World and Flicka. Essentially, he’s in a unique position to match musical sensibility with cinematic knowledge. In a sense, he might emerge as a new Adam Shankman.

As a life-long fan of the band, it’s great that they’ve branched out so much and maintained mainstream appeal over more than two decades, but I can’t help but hold out hope for a musical based on “Dookie.”

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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