Spike Lee Will Direct A Musical About Viagra (Yes, Really)

Spike Lee is always pushing forward, always evolving, and always doing interesting things as a storyteller. He has been making movies for more than 35 years, and now he's about to attempt something he has never tried before: directing a full-blown narrative movie musical. In the wake of Lee's filmed version of David Byrne's American Utopia, the next Spike Lee joint will be a musical about an unexpected topic: the invention of Viagra.

Deadline reports that Lee has co-written a Viagra musical with Kwame Kwei-Armah, an actor/director/writer who is currently the artistic director of the Young Vic theatre in London, and the writing duo based their screenplay on David Kushner's Esquire article All Rise: The Untold Story of The Guys Who Launched Viagra. Stew Stewart and Heidi Rodewald, who wrote the music and lyrics for a play called Passing Strange, will do the same for this project. (Lee previously directed a film version of the final performances of Passing Strange, which was released in 2009.) Matt Jackson (The Trial of the Chicago 7) will produce the movie alongside Lee, who is directing the project for the film studio eOne.

Reportedly, the film will be "inspired by the true events surrounding around Pfizer's discovery and launch of the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra (Sildenafil), which was hatched as a treatment for heart-related chest pain only for researchers to find its game-changing qualities occurred below the belt. The little blue pill had immediate staying power in the global marketplace, perking up sex lives around the world."

Lee sent this entertaining quote to Deadline talking about the project:

"First And Foremost, I Thank Ms. Jacquelyn Shelton Lee. I Thank My Late Mother For As She Would Say Taking "My Narrow,Rusty Behind" Dragging, Kickin' And Screamin' To The Movies When I Wuz A Nappy Headed Kid Growing Up In Da Streets Of Da People's Republic Of Brooklyn. I Did Not Want To See Corny People Singin' And Dancin'. I Instead Wanted To Play With My Friends On Da Block, Stoop Ball, Stick Ball, Punch Ball, Soft Ball, Basketball, 2 Hand Touch, Tackle Football, Coco Leevio, Johnny On Da Pony, Hot Peas And Butter, Crack Top, Down Da Sewer And Of Course-Booty's Up. All The Great New York City Street Games That Might Be Sadly Lost Forever. My Father, Bill Lee, Jazz/Folk Bassist, Composer HATED HollyWeird Movies, Henceforth And What Not, Me Being The Eldest Of 5 Children I Became Mommy's Movie Date. She Was A Cinefile. Thank You Lawdy She Didn't Listen To My Ongoing Complaints About Musicals. So Finally Going Into My 4th Decade As A Filmmaker I Will Be Directing A DANCIN',ALL SINGIN' MUSICAL Spike Lee Joint And I Can't Wait. My Moms Has Been Waiting TOO!!! And Dats Da Rodgers And Hammerstein Truth, Ruth."

I wonder if he's being literal when he calls this an "all singin' musical," wherein every word in the project will be sung by the actors. I suppose we'll find out soon enough, since this is reportedly going to be his next movie.