Green Day’s American Idiot, the rock opera based on the band’s album of the same name, will stage its final Broadway performance on April 24 in New York, but it looks like the story may move to the big screen once the stage curtains close.
The Hollywood Reporter is saying that Universal is negotiating the screen rights to American Idiot, and carrying over the show’s director, Michael Mayer. Apparently screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (he won an Oscar for Milk) and Tom Hanks are also in the project’s gravitational pull (Hanks would be involved in some kind of production capacity and probably not playing St. Jimmy, the show’s nefarious dealer/guest-star magnet).
Which brings us to the next point: There are plenty of issues in translating splashy stage musicals into compelling films—you need look no further than 2008’s Mamma Mia! for proof—but the biggest sticking point in making a movie out of American Idiot will be finding a suitable performer to play the lead role.
Celebrity cameos in the St. Jimmy role from Melissa Etheridge, AFI’s Davey Havok and Billie Joe Armstrong himself aside, the Broadway cast is largely made up of stage vets like Van Hughes (Hairspray, 9 to 5) , David Larsen (Good Vibrations), Rebecca Naomi Jones (Passing Strange). Also, Justin Guarani. Yes, that one.
Who would you like to see reprise their roles onscreen, AmIdios? Original Johnny (and Tony-winning Spring Awakening alum) John Gallagher Jr.? Original Jimmy Tony Vincent? Or are there better-known TV or film actors with the singing and dancing Broadway-baby chops to fill those roles—and the celebrity draw to fill cineplex seats?