American Idiot (musical)
Broadway promotional poster
|Lyrics||Billie Joe Armstrong|
|Book||Billie Joe Armstrong
by Green Day
2011 US Tour
2012 UK and Ireland Tour
2012 Second US Tour
2013 Third US Tour
2015 West End
2016 Second UK Tour
2016 San Jose
2017 Rio de Janeiro
|Awards||Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album|
American Idiot is a sung-through stage adaptation of punk rock band Green Day's rock opera, American Idiot. After a run at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2009, the show moved to the St. James Theatre on Broadway. Previews began on March 24, 2010 and the play officially opened on April 20, 2010. The show closed on April 24, 2011 after 422 performances. While Green Day did not appear in the production, vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong performed the role of "St. Jimmy" occasionally throughout the run.
The story, expanded from that of the concept album, centers on three disaffected young men, Johnny, Will, and Tunny. Johnny and Tunny flee a stifling suburban lifestyle and parental restrictions, while Will stays home to work out his relationship with his pregnant girlfriend, Heather. The former pair look for meaning in life and try out the freedom and excitement of the city. Tunny quickly gives up on life in the city, joins the military, and is shipped off to war. Johnny turns to drugs and finds a part of himself that he grows to dislike, has a relationship and experiences lost love.
The book was written by Armstrong and director Michael Mayer. The music was composed by Green Day and the lyrics were by Armstrong. The score included all the songs from the original American Idiot album, as well as additional Green Day songs from the album 21st Century Breakdown, and "When It's Time", a song originally recorded for the American Idiot musical.
The musical won two 2010 Tony Awards: Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Christine Jones, and Best Lighting Design of a Musical for Kevin Adams. It also received a nomination for Best Musical. In 2011, its Broadway cast recording won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Characters and cast members
- 3 Background
- 4 Production history
- 5 Musical numbers
- 6 Critical reception
- 7 Awards and nominations
- 8 Broadway attendances, performances, and gross receipts
- 9 Film adaptation
- 10 Broadway Idiot
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Set in the recent past, the musical opens on a group of suburban youths living unhappily in "Jingletown, USA" and saturated with TV. Fed up with the state of the union, the company explodes in frustration ("American Idiot"). One of the youths, Johnny ("Jesus of Suburbia"), goes to commiserate with his friend Will. A third friend, Tunny, joins the two and they party until they run out of beer, prompting them to pick up more at the local 7-Eleven. Tunny soon exposes the do-nothing go-nowhere quicksand of their lives ("City of the Damned"). They get riled up, and Johnny challenges his friends to engage ("I Don't Care"). Will's girlfriend, Heather, soon makes an appearance. She is pregnant and doesn't know what to do ("Dearly Beloved"). Johnny borrows money and buys bus tickets to the city for the three young men, eager to escape suburbia. Before the boys are able to leave, Heather tells Will of her pregnancy. With no other choice, he stays home ("Tales of Another Broken Home"). Johnny and Tunny depart for the city with a group of other jaded youths ("Holiday").
While Johnny wanders the city and pines for a woman he sees in an apartment window ("Boulevard of Broken Dreams"), Tunny finds it hard to adjust to urban life and is seduced by a television ad for the army ("Favorite Son"). Tunny realizes that his generation has been so numbed and apathetic that nothing, not even the bright lights of the city, will excite him ("Are We the Waiting"). He enlists in the army.
A frustrated Johnny manifests a rebellious drug-dealing alter ego called St. Jimmy, and injects heroin for the first time ("St. Jimmy"). His newfound courage thanks to St. Jimmy and the drugs allow Johnny to make a successful move on the girl in the window. Back in Jingletown, Will sits on the couch as his girlfriend's pregnancy progresses. He drinks beer and begs for a release. Meanwhile, Tunny is deployed to a war zone, and is soon shot and wounded ("Give Me Novacaine").
Johnny spends the night with the girl he saw in the window, whom he calls "Whatsername". Johnny is smitten with Whatsername and wants to celebrate, but St. Jimmy has other plans for them ("Last of the American Girls/She's a Rebel"). Johnny and Whatsername go to a club, take drugs together, and have passionate sex. By this time, Will and Heather's baby girl has been born, and Will is increasingly oblivious as Heather tenderly commits herself to her baby's future ("Last Night on Earth").
Heather has had enough of Will's pot-and-alcohol-fueled apathy. Despite Will's protestations, she takes the baby and walks out ("Too Much, Too Soon"). Around the same time, lying in a bed in an army hospital ("Before the Lobotomy"), Tunny falls victim to the hopelessness he has seen during wartime and hallucinates. He and his nurse engage in a balletic aerial dance ("Extraordinary Girl"). He quickly falls in love with her. His hallucination disappears, and he's left with his fellow soldiers in agony ("Before the Lobotomy (Reprise)").
Back in the city, Johnny reveals the depth of his love for Whatsername as she sleeps ("When It's Time"). The temptation of drugs, however, is too great; Jimmy forces Johnny to become increasingly erratic, and he eventually threatens Whatsername (and then himself) with a knife ("Know Your Enemy"). Whatsername attempts to talk about Johnny's behavior, while the Extraordinary Girl dresses Tunny's wounds and Will sits on the couch, once again alone ("21 Guns"). Johnny leaves a note for Whatsername, saying he has chosen Jimmy and drugs over her. Frightened and fed up, Whatsername tells Johnny that he is not the "Jesus of Suburbia" and reveals that St. Jimmy is nothing more than "a figment of [his] father's rage and [his] mother's love" ("Letterbomb"). She leaves him.
Hurt by Whatsername's departure, Johnny longs for better days ahead, Tunny longs for home, and Will longs for all the things he's lost ("Wake Me Up When September Ends"). St. Jimmy appears and makes one last attempt to get Johnny's attention, but that part of Johnny has died, resulting in the metaphorical suicide of St. Jimmy ("The Death of St. Jimmy"). Johnny cleans up and gets a desk job but soon realizes there is no place for him in the city ("East 12th Street"). Will, all alone with his television, bemoans his outcast state ("Nobody Likes You"). As he finally gets up off the couch, Heather appears with her new show-off rockstar boyfriend ("Rock and Roll Girlfriend"). Will heads to the 7-Eleven to get away from them and, surprisingly, finds Johnny there. Johnny had sold his guitar for a bus ticket home. Tunny returns from the war zone (as an amputee) with the Extraordinary Girl. As Tunny introduces his friends to the Extraordinary Girl, Johnny becomes furious with him for leaving the group, but quickly forgives him and the three friends embrace. Heather and her boyfriend arrive. In an uneasy truce, she gives the baby to Will. Other friends show up to greet the three men they haven't seen in a year ("We're Coming Home Again"). One year later, Johnny laments that he lost the love of his life, but he accepts that he can live inside the struggle between rage and love that has defined his life. With this acceptance comes the possibility of hope ("Whatsername").
After the cast takes their bows, the curtain rises to reveal the entire company with guitars, with which they perform the song "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)". Each performance of this song was recorded and given to the audience as a free digital download.
Characters and cast members
The principal cast members of the major productions of American Idiot.
|Character||Original Berkeley / Broadway Cast||Final Broadway Cast||Original West End Cast||Final West End Cast|
|Johnny||John Gallagher, Jr.||Van Hughes||Aaron Sidwell||Newton Faulkner|
|The main protagonist of the story. On his picaresque journey, he experiences nihilism, drug abuse, and lost love.|
|Tunny||Matt Caplan / Stark Sands||David Larsen||Alexis Gerred|
|Johnny's friend. He accompanies Johnny to the city, but soon joins the military and is sent to war. Tunny suffers serious injuries and loses a leg. During his rehabilitation, he falls in love with his nurse, and she returns home with him.|
|Will||Michael Esper||Justin Guarini||Steve Rushton||Steve Rushton / Matt Thorpe|
|Johnny's friend. He plans to leave town with the group until his girlfriend, Heather, reveals that she is pregnant with his child. Will stays at home in an alcohol and drug-infused depression.|
|St. Jimmy||Tony Vincent||Billie Joe Armstrong||Lucas Rush|
|An adventurous drug dealer who is eventually revealed to be a drug-addled manifestation of Johnny's id.|
|Whatsername||Rebecca Naomi Jones||Amelia Lily|
|An attractive young woman who accompanies Johnny on his journey. She eventually realizes that their relationship is destructive and leaves him.|
|Heather||Mary Faber||Jeanna de Waal||Natasha Barnes||Emma Housley|
|Will's pregnant girlfriend. She leaves Will and begins a relationship with another man to protect their child, eventually leading a life of glamour in stark contrast with Will's depression.|
|The Extraordinary Girl||Christina Sajous||Libby Winters||Raquel Jones||Alice Stokoe|
|Tunny's rehab nurse. The two fall in love.|
In 2000, Green Day released the album Warning. Village Voice music critic Robert Christgau compared Warning to the band's previous album (Nimrod), and noted that "[Billie Joe Armstrong is] abandoning the first person. He's assuming fictional personas. And he's creating for himself the voice of a thinking left-liberal." Christgau also detected "a faint whiff" of the work of the theatrical composer/lyricist team of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht. The trend of writing in the third person came to fruition with Green Day's next studio album, American Idiot in 2004. The first new song Green Day wrote was the single "American Idiot".
One day, bassist Mike Dirnt was in the studio recording a 30-second song by himself. Armstrong decided that he wanted to do the same, and drummer Tré Cool followed suit. Armstrong recalled, "It started getting more serious as we tried to outdo one another. We kept connecting these little half-minute bits until we had something." This musical suite became "Homecoming", and the group subsequently wrote another suite, "Jesus of Suburbia".
Green Day made the record an album-long conceptual piece which was a response to the realities of the post-9/11 era. The band took inspiration from the concept records by The Who, sources in the musical theater repertoire like The Rocky Horror Show and West Side Story, and the concept album-cum-stage musical Jesus Christ, Superstar. Armstrong also said the band intended "that it would be staged or we'd create a film or something... we were thinking in terms that it kind of felt like scoring a movie."
Director Michael Mayer heard the album and expressed an interest in adapting it for the stage. When he approached the band regarding a collaboration, they agreed to work with him. The band also gave Mayer a wide latitude for his adaptation after seeing his earlier work in Spring Awakening. Though additional songs were included from the Green Day catalog, Mayer added very little dialogue to the show. He felt instead that the music and lyrics were expressive enough on their own, and even removed some of the dialogue that was part of the Berkeley production before the show moved to Broadway.
The musical premiered at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Previews began on September 4, 2009 and the official opening was on September 15, 2009. After becoming the top-grossing show in the theatre's history, the producers extended the limited run twice to November 15, 2009. The cast included John Gallagher Jr. as Johnny, Matt Caplan as Tunny, Michael Esper as Will, Tony Vincent as St. Jimmy, Rebecca Naomi Jones as Whatsername, Mary Faber as Heather, and Christina Sajous as the Extraordinary Girl.
The musical transferred to the St. James Theatre on Broadway, with previews beginning on March 24, 2010. It officially opened on April 20, 2010. The cast for the Berkeley Repertory production was retained for the Broadway production, with the exception of Caplan, who was replaced by Stark Sands. It was rumored that the show cost between $8 million and $10 million to produce. After six months of performances, the show was "still a ways off from possibly turning a profit" according to a The New York Times report. As a part of the promotion for the show, the cast performed at the Grammy Awards on January 31, 2010 with Green Day.
Tom Kitt was the music supervisor and orchestrator for both the Berkeley and Broadway productions. The lead producers for the show were Ira Pittelman and Tom Hulce. Vivek Tiwary was another producer. The creative team for the show was largely the same as for the musical adaptation of Spring Awakening: director Michael Mayer, scenic designer Christine Jones and lighting designer Kevin Adams. Steven Hoggett was the choreographer, Andrea Lauer was the costume designer and Brian Ronan was the sound designer.
Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong played the role of St. Jimmy from September 28 to October 3, 2010. Ticket sales for the week Armstrong performed were up 77%, average ticket prices increased 22%, and gross sales increased 127% from the previous week's totals. The singer-songwriter filled in for Tony Vincent who took time off for personal matters. Armstrong made another 50 appearances as St. Jimmy between January 1 and February 27, 2011. Melissa Etheridge played the part of St. Jimmy on Broadway from February 1–6, 2011, and Davey Havok took the role from March 1–15, 2011.
Following Armstrong's departure from the cast, the show experienced weak sales. The Broadway production closed on April 24, 2011 after 27 previews and 421 performances. Armstrong returned to the role of St. Jimmy for the final three weeks. The show's cast recording won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.
International Tour (2011–2014)
American Idiot toured North America beginning on December 28, 2011, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The original national tour cast included Van Hughes reprising his role as Johnny, Jake Epstein as Will, Scott J. Campbell as Tunny, Leslie McDonel as Heather, Gabrielle McClinton as Whatsername, Nicci Claspell as The Extraordinary Girl, and Broadway alumnus Joshua Kobak as St. Jimmy. A non-Equity second U.S. tour launched in the late summer of 2012.
A UK and Ireland tour visited Manchester, Southampton, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, Birmingham and London later in 2012. The cast included Alex Nee as Johnny, Casey O'Farrell as Will, Thomas Hettrick as Tunny, Kennedy Caughell as Heather, Alyssa DiPalma as Whatsername, Jenna Rubaii as The Extraordinary Girl, and Trent Saunders as St. Jimmy. It started on October 9, 2012 in Southampton and ended on December 16, 2012 at HMV Hammersmith Apollo in London. A second US tour began performances in Norfolk, Virginia on January 25, 2013 with the UK touring cast. It ended Las Vegas, Nevada on June 16, 2013.
On August 7, 2013, American Idiot made its debut in Tokyo, Japan, and a few weeks later on September 5, it made its South Korean debut in Seoul. Sean Michael Murray took over the role of Johnny, Mariah MacFarlane took over as Heather, and Daniel C. Jackson took over as St. Jimmy.
The third US national tour cast included Jared Nepute as Johnny, Casey O'Farrell as Will, Dan Tracy as Tunny, Mariah MacFarlane as Heather, Olivia Puckett as Whatsername, Taylor Jones as Extraordinary Girl, and Daniel C. Jackson as St. Jimmy. On January 16, 2014, Carson Higgins, who had previously been a part of the non-equity/UK tour, took over the role of St. Jimmy, after Daniel C. Jackson left the show. The tour ended on May 25, 2014.
American Idiot's Scandinavian premiere at the Malmö Opera from February to April 2015 was a new production of the musical. It was the first official production not to be directed by Michael Mayer. The songs were performed in English but the dialogue was spoken in Swedish.
West End (2015, 2016)
A production opened in 2015 at the Arts Theatre in the West End in 2015. The cast includes Amelia Lily as Whatsername, Aaron Sidwell as Johnny, Alexis Gerred as Tunny, Steve Rushton as Will and Lucas Rush as St. Jimmy The show was produced by Sell a Door Theatre Company and directed and Choreographed by Racky Plews 
It was announced in April 2016 that the production will return to the Arts Theatre for the Summer 2016 after a UK tour concluding in Belfast early July 2016. Matt Thorpe played Johnny in the early stages of the tour until Newton Faulkner became available. In the West End, Newton Faulkner continued to play Johnny. Matt Thorpe made a few further guest appearances as Johnny before taking over the role of Will from Steve Rushton.
San Jose (2016)
A production by Fighting Chance Productions ran from July 28 to August 27 along side the theatre company's production of Heathers at Granville Island's Waterfront Theatre. This was the Western Canadian premiere of American Idiot.
Rio de Janeiro (2017)
- "American Idiot" – Company
- "Jesus of Suburbia"
- "Jesus of Suburbia" – Johnny and Will
- "City of the Damned" – Tunny, Johnny, Will, & Company
- "I Don't Care" – Johnny, Will, Tunny, & Company
- "Dearly Beloved" – Heather & Men
- "Tales of Another Broken Home" – Johnny, Will, Tunny, Heather, & Company
- "Holiday" – Johnny, Tunny, Theo, & Company
- "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" – Johnny, Whatsername, Tunny, & Men
- "Favorite Son" – Favorite Son & Women
- "Are We the Waiting" – Tunny, Favorite Son, & Company
- "St. Jimmy" – Johnny, Miguel, Declan, Theo, St. Jimmy, & Company
- "Give Me Novacaine" – Will, Tunny, & Company
- "Last of the American Girls/She's a Rebel" – Johnny, Whatsername, Gerard, Chase, St. Jimmy, & Company
- "Last Night on Earth" – St. Jimmy, Whatsername, Heather, & Company
- "Too Much Too Soon" – Theo, Alysha, Will, & Heather
- "Before the Lobotomy" – Tunny, Joshua, Ben, & Chase
- "Extraordinary Girl" – Extraordinary Girl, Tunny, & Company
- "Before the Lobotomy (Reprise)" – Tunny, Joshua, Ben, & Chase
- "When It's Time" – Johnny
- "Know Your Enemy" – St. Jimmy, Will, Johnny, & Company
- "21 Guns" – Whatsername, Extraordinary Girl, Heather, Tunny, Johnny, Will, & Company
- "Letterbomb" – Whatsername & Women
- "Wake Me Up When September Ends" – Johnny, Will, Tunny, & Company
- "The Death of St. Jimmy" – St. Jimmy & Johnny
- "East 12th St." – Johnny, Theo, Gerard, & Company
- "Nobody Likes You" – Will & Company
- "Rock and Roll Girlfriend" – Miguel, Heather, Will, & Company
- "We're Coming Home Again" – Johnny, Tunny, Will, & Company
- "Whatsername" – Johnny & Company
- "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" – Company (Curtain call)
Green Day re-released the single "21 Guns" with the musical cast on Spinner.com on December 3, 2009. This version features Billie Joe Armstrong, together with Christina Sajous, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Mary Faber and Stark Sands, with backup from the rest of American Idiot cast. Another version was released with John Gallagher, Jr., Michael Esper, and Sands singing the parts that Armstrong had previously sung. Green Day and the cast of the musical also performed the song at the 2010 Grammy Awards on January 31, 2010.
The original cast recording of the musical was released on April 20, 2010. The cast album includes all the songs featured in the musical plus a brand new recording of "When It's Time" by Green Day. The album won Best Musical Show Album at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards.
Reviews for the Berkeley Repertory Theatre production were mixed. Charles McNulty of Los Angeles Times called the show "kinetically entertaining in a way that intentionally reflects the shallow, media-saturated culture the album rails against". Karen D'Souza of San Jose Mercury News called the production "a thrashing collage of songs fused together with hypnotic movement and eye-popping visuals" and thought the show "as compelling as it is abstract [and] channels the grungy spirit of punk while also plucking at the heartstrings." However, Jim Harrington of the Oakland Tribune compared the show unfavorably to the original album, writing: "[what] once was a fine Gouda, has been prepackaged as Velveeta", and continued sarcastically, "In other words, it should do big business on Broadway." Charles Isherwood of The New York Times commented that the show contained "characters who lack much in the way of emotional depth or specificity, and plotlines that are simple to the point of crudity" but also felt that "the show possesses a stimulating energy and a vision of wasted youth that holds us in its grip."
Isherwood's review for the Broadway production was enthusiastic. He called the show "a pulsating portrait of wasted youth that invokes all the standard genre conventions... only to transcend them through the power of its music and the artistry of its execution, the show is as invigorating and ultimately as moving as anything I’ve seen on Broadway this season. Or maybe for a few seasons past." Jed Gottlieb of the Boston Herald enjoyed the premise of the show but found that "the music and message suffer in a setting where the audience is politely, soberly seated". Michael Kuchwara of the Associated Press found the show to be "visually striking [and] musically adventurous", but noted that "the show has the barest wisp of a story and minimal character development". Paul Kolnik in USA Today enjoyed the contradiction that Green Day's "massively popular, starkly disenchanted album ... would be the feel-good musical of the season". Time magazine's Richard Zoglin opined that the score "is as pure a specimen of contemporary punk rock as Broadway has yet encountered [yet] there's enough variety.... Where the show fall short is as a fully developed narrative." He concluded that "American Idiot, despite its earnest huffing and puffing, remains little more than an annotated rock concert.... Still, [it] deserves at least two cheers – for its irresistible musical energy and for opening fresh vistas for that odd couple, rock and Broadway." Peter Travers from Rolling Stone wrote, "Though American Idiot carries echoes of such rock musicals as Tommy, Hair, Rent and Spring Awakening, it cuts its own path to the heart. You won’t know what hit you. American Idiot knows no limits — it's a global knockout."
Reviews of the West End production were generally positive. Rachel Ward of The Telegraph gave it four out of five stars, calling "90 minutes of uninterrupted chaos". Kate Stanbury from Official London Theatre summarized, "Chaotic, intense and pulsating with legendary Green Day hits, a trip to this Tony Award-winning musical may just give you the time of your life." Paul Taylor of The Independent also gave four out of five stars, praising director and choreographer Racky Plews for making "a sharp-witted version that throbs with some of the energy of a rock gig (if minus the feeling of unpredictability) while being shrewdly calibrated to suit the intimacy of the 350-seater Arts Theatre."
Awards and nominations
American Idiot won a total of 5 awards. At a meeting of the Tony Administration Committee on April 30, 2010, the score of American Idiot was deemed ineligible for a Tony Award for Best Original Score nomination because less than 50% of it was written for the stage production.
|2010||Drama League Awards||Distinguished Production of a Musical||Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer (book); Billie Joe Armstrong (lyrics); Green Day (music)||Nominated|||
|Distinguished Performance||John Gallagher Jr.||Nominated|
|Outer Critics Circle Awards||Outstanding New Broadway Musical||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Lighting Design (Play or Musical)||Kevin Adams||Won|
|Drama Desk Awards||Outstanding Musical||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Director of a Musical||Michael Mayer||Won|
|Outstanding Orchestrations||Tom Kitt||Nominated|
|Tony Awards||Best Musical||Nominated|||
|Best Scenic Design of a Musical||Christine Jones||Won|
|Best Lighting Design of a Musical||Kevin Adams||Won|
|2011||Grammy Awards||Best Musical Show Album||Billie Joe Armstrong (producer); Chris Dugan & Chris Lord-Alge (engineers/mixers)||Won|||
Broadway attendances, performances, and gross receipts
The following is a month-by-month breakdown of sales, attendance, and performance data for the production at the 1,709-capacity St. James Theatre.
|Time period||Attendance||Gross sales||Average Paid Admission||Percent of Capacity||References|
|March 24 – April 4, 2010 (12 previews)||16,879||$1,312,033||$77.73||82.3%|||
|April 5 – May 2, 2010 (14 previews, 16 performances)||38,195||$2,591,496||$67.85||74.5%|||
|May 3 – June 6, 2010 (40 performances)||47,371||$3,898,058||$82.29||69.3%|||
|June 7 – July 4, 2010 (31 performances)||36,876||$3,082,501||$83.59||69.6%|||
|July 5 – August 1, 2010 (32 performances)||39,793||$3,199,187||$80.40||72.8%|||
|August 2 – September 5, 2010 (40 performances)||45,125||$3,535,540||$78.35||66.0%|||
|September 6 – October 3, 2010 (31 performances)||36,363||$2,491,234||$68.51||68.6%|||
|October 4 – 31, 2010 (32 performances)||28,202||$1,983,404||$70.33||51.6%|||
|November 1 – December 5, 2010 (40 performances)||33,334||$2,452,032||$73.56||48.8%|||
|December 6, 2010 – January 2, 2011 (32 performances)||33,694||$2,694,839||$79.98||61.6%|||
|January 3 – February 6, 2011 (40 performances)||47,347||$3,912,616||$82.64||69.3%|||
|February 7 – March 6, 2011 (32 performances)||43,148||$3,818,799||$88.50||78.9%|||
|March 7 – April 3, 2011 (32 performances)||32,498||$1,912,847||$58.86||59.4%|||
|April 4–24, 2011 (24 performances)||31,898||$2,913,465||$91.34||77.8%|||
|422 performances, 26 previews||510,723||$39,798,051||$77.92||66.7%|
In April 2011, Tom Hanks and his production company Playtone optioned the musical to create a film version, and Universal Pictures began initial negotiations to distribute. Michael Mayer, who directed the Broadway production, was named as director, with Green Day and Hanks as producers. Dustin Lance Black was initially hired to adapt the screenplay from the musical for the film. Billie Joe Armstrong was asked to star as St. Jimmy, and the film was proposed for a 2013 release. Armstrong later posted on his Twitter account that he hadn't "totally committed" to the role but was interested in it.
In July 2013, at a screening of Broadway Idiot, Mayer confirmed that the film adaptation was still happening, but production was unknown due to "Hollywood bullshit". In March 2014, playwright Rolin Jones told the Hartford Courant that he was writing a new screenplay for the film. Comparing it to the musical, Jones said, "The idea is to get it a little dirtier and a little nastier and translate it into visual terms. There's not going to be a lot of dialogue and it probably should be a little shorter, too. After that, it just takes its 'movie time' in getting done". He expected to finish it by the end of the month.
In October 2016, in an interview with NME, Armstrong revealed that the movie had been greenlighted by HBO, and the script was getting rewrites. He confirmed he would reprise his Broadway role as St. Jimmy. In November 2016, Armstrong told that the film "it’s going to be a lot different from the musical. It’s kind of, more surreal but I think there’s going to be parts of it that might offend people – which is good. I think it's a good time to offend people. I think there's just going to be a lot of imagery that we couldn't pull off in the musical in the stage version. You know, I don’t want to give away too much, but it will be shocking in a way which makes you think."
On January 23, 2013, it was announced that a documentary showing Armstrong's journey from punk rock to Broadway was to be released. Called Broadway Idiot and showing a lot of behind-the-scenes of the musical production, the movie was directed by Doug Hamilton, veteran television journalist for CBS News' 60 Minutes and PBS documentaries such as Nova, Frontline and American Masters. A trailer was released on January 30, 2013. The documentary premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival on March 15, 2013. On October 11, 2013, it was released in some theaters and on video on demand by FilmBuff.
Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 65% of critics gave the film a positive review based on 20 reviews, with an average score of 5.8/10. On Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 based on reviews from critics, the film has a score of 51 (citing "mixed or average reviews") based on 14 reviews.
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- Sales data is reported weekly. For the sake of simplicity, the fiscal month starts on the first Monday of the month.
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- Ku, Andrew (2010-09-13), "Broadway Grosses: Sept. 6–12", Playbill.com[dead link]
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- Ku, Andrew (2010-11-22), "Broadway Grosses: Nov. 15–21", Playbill.com[dead link]
- Ku, Andrew (2010-11-29), "Broadway Grosses: Nov. 22–28", Playbill.com[dead link]
- Ku, Andrew (2010-12-06), "Broadway Grosses: Nov. 29 – Dec. 5", Playbill.com[dead link]
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- Gewirtzman, David (2010-12-28), "Broadway Grosses: Dec. 20–26", Playbill.com[dead link]
- Ku, Andrew (2011-01-03), "Broadway Grosses: Dec. 27 – Jan. 2", Playbill.com[dead link]
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- Ku, Andrew (2011-01-18), "Broadway Grosses: Jan. 10–16", Playbill.com[dead link]
- Ku, Andrew (2011-01-24), "Broadway Grosses: Jan. 17–23", Playbill.com[dead link]
- Ku, Andrew (2011-01-31), "Broadway Grosses: Jan. 24–30", Playbill.com[dead link]
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- Gewirtzman, David (2011-02-22), "Broadway Grosses: Feb. 14–20", Playbill.com[dead link]
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- Ku, Andrew (2011-03-07), "Broadway Grosses: Feb. 28 – March 6", Playbill.com[dead link]
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- Ku, Andrew (2011-03-21), "Broadway Grosses: March 14–20", Playbill.com[dead link]
- Gewitzman, David (2011-03-28), "Broadway Grosses: March 21–27", Playbill.com[dead link]
- Ku, Andrew (2011-04-04), "Broadway Grosses: March 28 – April 3", Playbill.com[dead link]
- Gewirtzman, David (2011-04-11), "Broadway Grosses: April 4–10", Playbill.com[dead link]
- Ku, Andrew (2011-04-18), "Broadway Grosses: April 11–17", Playbill.com[dead link]
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- ""American Idiot" movie lands at Universal". Reuters. 2011-04-13. Retrieved 2011-04-17.
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- "Haven't totally committed to St Jimmy for AI movie. Yes, I'm interested. Yes someone jumped the gun..".
- "Michael Mayer said that they don't know when the movie will come out due to Hollywood bullshit, but Billie Joe will play St. Jimmy.".
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