Spike Lee to direct musical about creation of Viagra

Lee will helm the upcoming project based on David Kushner’s 2018 Esquire article about how the drug was developed

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Spike Lee has signed on to direct a musical based on the creation of Viagra. 

According to Deadline, the screenplay is to be co-written by Lee and Kwame Kwei-Armah and is based on David Kushner’s 2018 Esquire article “All Rise: The Untold Story of The Guys Who Launched Viagra.” 

In the article, Kusher details the story of how pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, now one of the two companies who say they have effective COVID-19 vaccines, discovered that the pill first developed for chest pains actually helped more than just the heart.

Read More: Spike Lee calls Jared Kushner ‘punka–‘ for comments on Black people

Mark “Stew” Stewart and Heidi Rodewald will write the music. The duo was behind the Tony-winning project, Passing Strange, which Lee released as a film in 2009.

92nd Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Spike Lee attends the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

In statement obtained by Deadline, Lee shared memories of his mother and how it inspired him to do a musical:

“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.”

Read More: Spike Lee says he understands why Chadwick Boseman didn’t tell him about illness

Lee will produce under his  40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks banner along with Matt Jackson of Jackson Pictures.

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