Spike Lee to Direct Musical About Invention of Viagra for eOne

Lee wrote the screenplay with Kwame Kwei-Armah based on an Esquire article by David Kushner

Last Updated: November 17, 2020 @ 12:00 PM

Spike Lee has found his next project, a musical that will tell the story of the development and accidental invention of the erectile dysfunction medication Viagra.

Lee will direct the untitled film for Entertainment One from a screenplay he wrote with Kwame Kwei-Armah. The project is based on an article in Esquire by David Kushner from 2018, “All Rise: The Untold Story of the Guys Who Launched Viagra.”

Stew Stewart and Heidi Rodewald, who previously wrote the musical “Passing Strange” that Lee directed a filmed version of, will write original songs and music for the Viagra project.

Matt Jackson’s Jackson Pictures will produce with Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks. The project will be the next Spike Lee Joint. Joanne Lee of Jackson Pictures and David Kushner will executive produce.

Lee had a lot of people to thank and a lot of excitement for this latest film, which you can read in full below:

“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 An 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 most recently directed “Da 5 Bloods” and the filmed version of “American Utopia,” and he won his Oscar for “BlacKkKlansman.”

Kwei-Armah is a British playwright and director. In 2018 he was made artistic director of the Young Vic Theater in London, where he has directed “Twelfth Night” and “Tree.” Matt Jackson recently produced “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

Zev Foreman and Ilda Diffley are overseeing for eOne.

Lee is represented by ICM. Jackson Pictures is represented by CAA and Manatt. Kwei-Armah is represented by The Gotham Group and United Agents. Kushner is represented by The Gotham Group. Stew Stewart and Heidi Rodewald are represented by Verve.

Deadline first reported the news of the project.