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Spike Lee making a film about viagra
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Spike Lee is making a musical about viagra

Finally things are looking up for 2020

Spike Lee is set to make a musical about the creators of the erectile dysfunction drug, Viagra, based on David Kushner’s Esquire article “All Rise: The Untold Story of the Guys Who Launched Viagra.”

The article chronicles the discovery and marketing of the drug (sildenafil citrate), its journey from testing labs to bedside tables, and how it had to overcome challenges from Wall Street, Capitol Hill, and the Catholic church on its way up.

“Whose job was it to convince some of America's most powerful institutions that all men deserved boners?”, Kushner writes, “Two guys. This is the story of how an unlikely duo popped the top on a $3-billion-a-year industry.”

Lee is co-writing alongside British playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah, the artistic director of the Young Vic, and the film will feature original music from songwriting duo Stew Stewart and Heidi Rodewald.

Speaking to Deadline about the project, Lee thanked his mother for helping him to overcome an early dislike of musicals: “I thank Ms Jacquelyn Shelton Lee. I thank my late mother for as she would say taking ‘my narrow, rusty behind’ dragging, kicking and screaming to the movies when I wuz a nappy headed kid growing up in da streets of da people’s republic of Brooklyn.”

He added: “I did not want to see corny people singin’ and dancin’. Instead I wanted to play with my friends on da block… so finally going into my fourth 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!”

Jackson Pictures and 40 Acres and Mule Filmworks are set to produce the film, while Joanne Lee of Jackson Pictures and Kushner will serve as executive producers.