[UPDATE 9/19/20]: After debuting the initial teaser for David Byrne’s American Utopia last month, HBO has released a slightly-longer, full trailer. The film adaptation of the former Talking Heads frontman’s Broadway musical is set to air October 17th at 8 p.m. on the premium cable network.
In the new trailer, released on Tuesday, audiences get a bit more detail than shown in the teaser. To anyone who hasn’t been able to see the stage version, the performance remains very much a mystery. The broad strokes are there: the soundtrack includes Talking Heads music, the stage setup is limited, and the cast all wears the same clothes. But in the new trailer, audiences get a preview of the overarching philosophical and thematic points that Byrne provides as a narrator throughout the production.
As a guitar strums the opening notes to “Burning Down The House”, Byrne asks, “What if we could eliminate everything from the stage, except the stuff we care about the most? Without cables or wires, what would be left? Well, it would be us, and you. And’s that what the show is.”
Watch the official trailer for David Byrne’s American Utopia.
David Byrne’s American Utopia – Official Trailer
[8/24/20]: The teaser for the highly anticipated, Spike Lee-directed film adaptation of the David Byrne broadway musical American Utopia was released on Monday. It was also announced that the film will premiere on HBO October 17th at 8 p.m.
This announcement comes after the theatrical debut of American Utopia, as well as all future Broadway performances of the hit production, were cancelled due to the pandemic. Back in June, HBO announced that the network had acquired the film and would broadcast it “later this year,” though no specific date was given.
The new teaser provides a quick 45-second flash from David Byrne’s American Utopia, not adding much to the lay-audience’s understanding of the film while still building up the mystique for everyone who wasn’t lucky enough to see it on Broadway. The teaser pulsates with hand drums and the sound of a chorus of voices provided by the 11 multi-talented actors and musicians that joined Byrne onstage. The former Talking Heads frontman can be heard speaking over the video saying, “Despite all that’s happened, and all that’s still happening, there’s still possibility.” He then quotes the writer James Baldwin who said, “I still believe that we can do something in this country that has not been done before.”
Watch the first teaser for David Byrne’s American Utopia, directed by Spike Lee, below.
David Byrne’s American Utopia – Teaser