Back in 2004, the California-based rock band Green Day released their seventh studio album, titled American Idiot. It was a monumental critical and commercial success, selling more than 6 million copies in the United States and earning the Best Rock Album award at the Grammys. American Idiot was something of a departure for the group, since it was a politically-charged rock opera (i.e. an album that tells a story) that detailed the many frustrations people were feeling at the time. Buoyed by singles such as “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” the album gave Green Day a second lease on life and catapulted them to the status of the world’s biggest band.
Given the tremendous impact American Idiot had on pop culture, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that people have been looking to adapt its narrative for other mediums. In 2009, it became a stage musical and had a run on Broadway from 2010 to 2011, but there’s long been interest in making a feature film based on the album as well. An American Idiot movie first entered development in 2011, but little has been heard of it since. Now, the project has been green lit by HBO and is officially coming through the pipeline.
Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong broke the news to NME while promoting the band’s new album Revolution Radio:
“That’s the plan right now, yeah. We’ve got a green light from HBO, and the script is currently going through a couple of rewrites here and there, so I’m not sure when exactly we’re going to start shooting, but it’s definitely all systems go at the moment.”
Armstrong, who headlines the straight-to-VOD dramedy Ordinary World later this month, will get a chance to flex his acting muscles again in the American Idiot film. He’s on board to play the character of St. Jimmy, a role he portrayed on Broadway multiple times. Other than that, details are being kept under wraps. When reports of the movie first came out five years ago, original stage director Michael Mayer was said to be at the helm, however, that may have changed by now. NME mentions playwright Rolin Jones as the screenwriter, but with Armstrong talking about rewrites, it will be interesting to see who the credited scribes are. Since the film is “all systems go,” more information should be made available soon.
As exciting as it may be for Green Day fans that American Idiot is finally getting the movie treatment, it may be a while before production starts. The band is currently embarking on a worldwide tour that runs from now until May 2017, and obviously Armstrong will be needed there to entertain the crowds with his showmanship. Chances are, once Green Day takes a breather following their concerts, American Idiot can enter production, meaning late 2017/early 2018 is a reasonable guess as for when it might come out. The album may be 12-years old, but with Green Day once again at the forefront of popular music, there should be a good deal of interest in seeing American Idiot.
We’ll keep you updated on American Idiot as more information becomes available.
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