5 Albums of the Past Decade That Could Be Adapted Into Movies
American Idiot, the Green Day album that birthed a Broadway musical, is nearing a move to the big screen after at least one aborted attempt. Milk scribe Dustin Lance Black is in talks to write the screenplay, and now I'm in talks with myself to realize the potential in adapting albums as films. It's a mystifying and interesting thought; that rumored Candy Land movie is basically Katy Perry's Teenage Dream anyway, right? Here are five more that could make for intriguing cineplex draws.
1. Sufjan Stevens, Illinois
The sprawling, 22-track opus is more than just a tribute to the Land of Lincoln: It's an ominous and evocative mood piece that could provide the basis for a modern-day road movie. There are enough stories within the songs themselves (the eight-plus-minute "Casimir Pulaski Day," anyone?) to load a few films worth of poetic, Illinoisian languor.
Casting: Jesse Eisenberg as a Decatur-born troubadour; the flat splendor of Illinois as itself.
2. Amy Winehouse, Back to Black
The world hasn't seen much of Amy Winehouse in the past few years, but that doesn't mean her breakout second album, 2006's Back to Black, is any less worthy of cinematic exhumation. The bluesy, boozy collection is an ideal soundtrack for the kind of beleaguered female chanteuse we haven't witnessed since, what, Postcards from the Edge? Give us La Vie Un Noir!
Casting: Mila Kunis as the trilling tippler, and Jonah Hill as her cutup soulmate.
3. Lady Gaga, The Fame Monster
Lady Gaga's sophomore album (or EP, depending on your perspective) qualifies as a concept album thanks to its B-movie motifs, dark disco hooks, and meditation on the fetishistic. We're due for another exploration of club scene indulgence, and I'm not talking about a benign, danceable trainwreck like 54 --- I'm talking about a thundering bacchanal with "Teeth."
Casting: Lady Gaga herself as the clubland starlet; Peter Sarsgaard as the menacing club proprietor.
4. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
The baffling denseness of Kanye West's most recent album has the gall and grandiosity to fill at least one David Lynch movie. The lyrics, while a mixed bag of metaphors and command, sometimes stupefy and other times convey the spirit of a classic singer-songwriter. "I hit the Jamaican spot, at the bar, take a seat / I ordered you jerk, she said 'you are what you eat.'" That's kind of Joni-ish, actually. And it'd make for a fascinating journey in one protagonist's nervy, erratic stride.
Casting: I see more of a warped Waking Life approach for this one, but I'd allow Kanye the chance to play whatever version of himself (or anyone else) he desired.
5. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
The "surprise" 2011 winner for Grammy's Album of the Year (Who was really surprised? The Grammys either go with the most crowd-pleasing or the "coolest" choice every year. No exception.) is an unassailable tribute to brothers Win and William Butler's Houston rearing. Plenty of movies have tried to capture the stagnated stillness of suburban life, but a movie based on this glorious, yet lyrically simple album seems more likely to be sincere than Sam Mendes's next project.
Casting: Kat Dennings and Michael Cera reunite as suburban misfits in love.