American premium cable network HBO will launch David Byrne’s American Utopia, the feature-length documentary from BlacKkKlansman director Spike Lee, in mid-October.
The 105-minute film, which held its world premiere as the opening night film at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival, documents the performance of former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and an ensemble of 11 musicians on Broadway at New York’s Hudson Theatre.
The performance is based on Byrne’s 2018 album and tour of the same name, and includes choreographed performances of songs from the album American Utopia, in addition to popular Talking Heads favorites such as “Once in a Lifetime” and “Burning Down the House,” and covers of Janelle Monáe’s “Hell You Talmbout.”
Also featured throughout are brief inter-song monologues that allow the Scottish-born, American-raised, songwriter and singer to address various socio-political topics such as voter turnout, climate change, and immigration.
Academy Award and Emmy-winning filmmaker Spike Lee serves as director and produces via his prodco 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks.
The transformative musical experience will be made available on HBO beginning Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and to stream on HBO Max.
David Byrne’s American Utopia is executive produced by Jeff Skoll, David Linde, Diane Weyermann, Len Blavatnik, David Bither, Charlie Cohen, Kurt Deutsch, Bill Pohlad, Christa Zofcin Workman, Jon Kamen, Dave Sirulnick, Meredith Bennett, Kristin Caskey, Mike Isaacson, and Patrick Catullo.
Producers on the film include Byrne and Lee.
Participant Media, River Road Entertainment, Warner Music Entertainment and Radical Media are executive producing and financing the project, with Participant as lead.