Green Day's 'American Idiot' Broadway musical to become a movie; who should they cast?


Image Credit: Kevin Mazur/

Green Day’s American Idiot, the rock opera based on the band’s album of the same name, will stage its final Broadway performance on April 24 in New York, but it looks like the story may move to the big screen once the stage curtains close.

The Hollywood Reporter is saying that Universal is negotiating the screen rights to American Idiot, and carrying over the show’s director, Michael Mayer. Apparently screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (he won an Oscar for Milk) and Tom Hanks are also in the project’s gravitational pull (Hanks would be involved in some kind of production capacity and probably not playing St. Jimmy, the show’s nefarious dealer/guest-star magnet).

Which brings us to the next point: There are plenty of issues in translating splashy stage musicals into compelling films—you need look no further than 2008’s  Mamma Mia! for proof—but the biggest sticking point in making a movie out of American Idiot will be finding a suitable performer to play the lead role.

Celebrity cameos in the St. Jimmy role from Melissa Etheridge, AFI’s Davey Havok and Billie Joe Armstrong himself aside, the Broadway cast is largely made up of stage vets like Van Hughes (Hairspray, 9 to 5) , David Larsen (Good Vibrations), Rebecca Naomi Jones (Passing Strange). Also, Justin Guarani. Yes, that one.

Who would you like to see reprise their roles onscreen, AmIdios? Original Johnny (and Tony-winning Spring Awakening alum) John Gallagher Jr.? Original Jimmy Tony Vincent? Or are there better-known TV or film actors with the singing and dancing Broadway-baby chops to fill those roles—and the celebrity draw to fill cineplex seats?

More on
Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong to return to ‘American Idiot’, show will close April 24
Melissa Etheridge to rock out in Broadway’s ‘American Idiot’
Stage Review: American Idiot


Comments (41 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3
  • LOL

    George W. Bush as the Idiot.

  • David Sergi

    Green Day on the Great Lawn NYC 2011

  • M

    John Gallagher Jr.!

    • Marie

      seconded, hope it’s him!

      • kt


      • Carly


    • lisa

      Yes! John Gallagher Jr. would be my choice too! He is an amazing talent and it’s time for him to get some recognition. Hope Hollywood has learned there lessons from Mama Mia the movie and won’t pick a “Pierce Brosnan” type actor that can’t sing.

  • jordan

    Can’t wait, dustin lance black gives me a lot of reassurance too.

  • dee dee1

    Tony Vincent would be great! I’d love to see some new actors playing these roles.

    • Dr. Chim Richalds

      Love Tony VIncent!

      • Sarah

        Agreed! Or Joshua Kobak. Had the chance to see him in the role, and he was mind-blowing.

  • matt

    i think the original cast should play the roles. I thought they were all excellent.

  • Stephanie

    OBC. If it’s anyone else, I’ll be very disappointed.

    At the very least I want Rebecca Naomi Jones as Whatsername. Then the entire world can see how fierce and bad-ass she is.

  • TONY

    Tony Vincent PLEASE. The original cast was awesome!!!

  • Lorelei

    Another vote for the OBC…particularly John Gallagher Jr., Rebecca Naomi Jones, & Tony Vincent. Those three made the performance for me.

  • johanna

    Definitely Johm Gallagher Jr. Saw him on Broadway in the role, he was phenomenal!

  • TB

    The band is just going to keep beating that dead horse aren’t they? If they start doing an American Idiot comic book I’ll eat my shoes.

  • DG

    Don’t think he’s a singer, but Giovanni Ribisi always reminds me of Billie Joe.

    • Maureen

      Me too! ;)

  • Becca

    TONY VINCENT! Him, John Gallagher Jr., and Rebecca Naomi Jones have to be in it. They were perfect on stage :D

  • MBV

    The one and only St. Jimmy- TONY VINCENT!

  • Jenny

    Must have John Gallagher, Jr, at LEAST. Gives the talent and Broadway cred. He just simply is “Johnny”. Would hope for the rest of the OBC but I’m willing to bet Billie Joe will be St. Jimmy. I’m sure that’s part of the deal in getting this movie made. I’d be ok with that. I saw both him and Tony Vincent and thought they were both great. So give me John Gallagher Jr, Rebecca Naomi Jones, and Armstrong or Vincent and I’ll be happy. Even better if we could get Stark Sands, Michael Esper, and Christina Sajous but I’m not holding my breath.

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