Posted on Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 by Peter Sciretta
A24 has optioned the rights to I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution, and has set The Spectacular Now/The End of the Tour director James Ponsoldt to develop the book into a feature film. Details on the I Want My MTV Movie, after the jump.
The book was written by Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks and first published in October 2011 and is currently available in paperback for around $15. Named as one of the best books of that year by NPR, Spin, USA Today, CNBC, Pitchfork, The Onion, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, VEVO, the Boston Globe, and the San Francisco Chronicle, the book chronicles the rise of the cable television channel. The book is told mostly through interviews and anecdotes from the cable channel’s founders and the artists whose videos appeared on the channel. Here is the official synopsis from the book cover:
Remember the first time you saw Michael Jackson dance with zombies in “Thriller”? Diamond Dave karate kick with Van Halen in “Jump”? Tawny Kitaen turning cartwheels on a Jaguar to Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again”? The Beastie Boys spray beer in “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)”? Axl Rose step off the bus in “Welcome to the Jungle”? Remember When All You Wanted Was Your MTV? It was a pretty radical idea-a channel for teenagers, showing nothing but music videos. It was such a radical idea that almost no one thought it would actually succeed, much less become a force in the worlds of music, television, film, fashion, sports, and even politics. But it did work. MTV became more than anyone had ever imagined. I Want My MTV tells the story of the first decade of MTV, the golden era when MTV’s programming was all videos, all the time, and kids watched religiously to see their favorite bands, learn about new music, and have something to talk about at parties. From its start in 1981 with a small cache of videos by mostly unknown British new wave acts to the launch of the reality-television craze with The Real World in 1992, MTV grew into a tastemaker, a career maker, and a mammoth business. Featuring interviews with nearly four hundred artists, directors, VJs, and television and music executives, I Want My MTV is a testament to the channel that changed popular culture forever.
Director Brett Ratner was originally set to direct a film adaptation written by Jody Lambert for Sony Pictures. A24’s version of the project will be a completely new take written by Ponsoldt. I loved Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now and his follow-up The End of the Tour shows what he’s able to do with material based on real events, honored as one of the best films of last year by many critics. Here is the official press release for the I Want My MTV Movie:
A24 OPTIONS ACCLAIMED BOOK “I WANT MY MTV” James Ponsoldt Will Write, Produce, and Direct Narrative Feature Adaptation
(New York, NY) April 19, 2016—A24 announced today that it has optioned the rights to Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks’ renowned book “I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution.” The company will re-team with James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now, The End of the Tour), who will write, produce, and direct the adaptation, which will be their third project together. A24 will produce alongside frequent collaborator Eva Maria Daniels of VisionChaos Productions.
“I Want MY MTV” chronicles the founding and first 10 years of the network, a golden era in both music and television where MTV became the emblem of a new generation. The network was a radical idea that no one thought would succeed; but what started as a channel showcasing videos from obscure British bands soon transformed into a cultural sensation that tapped directly into the imagination and spirit of contemporary teenagers. The same passionate, reckless young group that built the company ushered it into a global phenomenon that deeply influenced everything from movies, music, and television to fashion, sports, and politics.
The film will be a fun, immersive look at the network’s rise, and will weave the book’s testimonials into a thrilling and celebratory account of this one-of-a-kind cultural moment.
About the project, A24 said “We’re so thrilled to be collaborating again with James Ponsoldt to bring this terrific book to the screen. With James on board, we know he’ll bring out all the passion, ingenuity, humor, and humanity that led to MTV becoming perhaps the most powerful influence on pop culture of all time.”
Filmmaker James Ponsoldt says, “As a child of the 1980’s, MTV had a massive impact on me, and I’m so excited to again be working with my friends at A24 in exploring the storied early years of the groundbreaking channel.”
Ponsoldt is repped by UTA, Brillstein Partners, and Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz. The deal for the book was negotiated by ICM Partners on behalf of PJ Mark at Janklow & Nesbit Associates. Bethany Haynes at Sloss Eckhouse represented VisionChaos.
Launched in the summer of 2012, A24 is a New York-based media company focused on the distribution, financing, development and production of feature films and television projects. A24’s films won three Oscars at the 2016 Academy Awards: Best Actress for Brie Larson’s performance in the highly acclaimed, multi-award winning ROOM, directed by Lenny Abrahamson and co-starring Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, and William H. Macy; Best Documentary for AMY, Asif Kapadia’s heart-wrenching portrait of Amy Winehouse; and Best Visual Effects for Alex Garland’s lauded directorial debut EX MACHINA, starring Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander.
Other recent releases include Jeremy Saulnier’s critically renowned thriller GREEN ROOM, starring Patrick Stewart, Anton Yelchin, and Imogen Poots; Robert Eggers’ critical and commercial success THE WITCH, James Ponsoldt’s highly acclaimed THE END OF THE TOUR, which stars Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel as writer David Foster Wallace; Noah Baumbach’s comedy WHILE WE’RE YOUNG, featuring an all-star cast of Ben Stiller, Adam Driver, Naomi Watts and Amanda Seyfried.; and J.C. Chandor’s A MOST VIOLENT YEAR, named the “2014 Best Film of the Year” by the National Board of Review. In 2014, they released Sundance breakout OBVIOUS CHILD, featuring Jenny Slate, and Jonathan Glazer’s singular Scarlett Johansson film, UNDER THE SKIN. In 2013, the company released Sofia Coppola’s THE BLING RING, James Ponsoldt’s THE SPECTACULAR NOW, and Harmony Korine’s record-breaking SPRING BREAKERS.
Upcoming titles include Yorgos Lanthimos’ Cannes prize-winning THE LOBSTER, starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz; Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s SWISS ARMY MAN, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, and winner of the Best Director prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival; and Andrea Arnold’s eagerly anticipated next feature, AMERICAN HONEY.
A24’s televisions projects include “The Carmichael Show” which is currently in its second season on NBC, and USA’s “Playing House.”Cool Posts From Around the Web: