Entertainment

Spike Lee Is Directing a Musical About Viagra

The film will tell the origin story of the erectile dysfunction drug.
JG
London, United Kingdom
November 18, 2020, 1:45pm
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Photo: RALF HIRSCHBERGER / DPA / Alamy Live News

Iconic American film director Spike Lee is set to embark on his most unusual project yet: a biographical music telling the story behind the creation of the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra.

The film will be based on an Esquire article, written by David Kushner in 2018, titled “All Rise: The Untold Story of the Guys Who Launched Viagra”. The article looks at how the the drug, which was originally developed as a treatment for angina, was created and first marketed (incidentally, it was patented by Pfizer, the same multinational pharmaceutical company that recently announced a coronavirus vaccine).

Speaking to Deadline, Spike Lee thanked his mother for forcing him to go to the cinema when he was a child, and in the process turning him into a lifelong fan of musicals.

In a written statement, he said: “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’….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.”

Lee will be co-writing the script with British playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah, who is currently the artistic director of the Young Vic theatre in London. The music will be written by Stew Stewart and Heidi Rodewald, a songwriting duo who previously collaborated on a Tony Award-winning musical Passing Strange, which was filmed by Lee in 2008.