Last modified on Wed 18 Nov 2020 14.18 GMT
Lee paid tribute to his mother for helping him overcome his early dislike of musicals.
Photograph: Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock
Spike Lee is to direct a musical about the impotence medication Viagra, it has been revealed.
According to Deadline, the film will be Lee’s next project after Da 5 Bloods and American Utopia, and is based on a 2018 Esquire article headlined All Rise, which chronicled the discovery and marketing of the drug (called sildenafil citrate). Lee is co-writing the script with British playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah, current artistic director of the Young Vic, and the music is by songwriters Stew Stewart and Heidi Rodewald (who previously collaborated on the stage musical Passing Strange, filmed by Lee in 2008).
In an enthusiastic statement to Deadline, Lee paid tribute to his mother for forcing him to go to the cinema as a child, and expressed his appreciation for her helping him overcome his early dislike of musicals.
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.
Originally developed as a potential treatment for angina in a UK lab, sildenafil citrate was patented by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer in 1996 and went on sale in the US in 1998 under the brand name Viagra. It is estimated that Viagra has generated annual revenue of $1.8bn for Pfizer, although other companies are now allowed to make generic versions of the drug.