Director James Ponsoldt Wants His MTV


Spectacular Now director James Ponsoldt has been signed to write, direct and produce I Want My MTV, the story of the fledgling years of the now-iconic cable outlet. The film will baaed on the 2011 book by Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks.

Previously Brett Ratner had been set to direct an adaptation of the book with People Like Us screenwriter Jody Lambert scripting. That project fell through and then the book’s rights passed from Sony to current producers A24. And that change is a triple win for the prospect that the adaptation will turn out well. The first win is getting the project away from a lackluster director like Ratner. The second is the move making it possible for Ponsoldt to sign on to direct. Given his sterling work on both The Spectacular Now and The End Of The Tour, there is no real reason to think that he won’t continue this hot streak. Finally, although they have only been around a short while, A24 is on a pretty impressive run with such films as Locke, A Most Violent Year and Ex Machina, as well as Ponsoldt’s two films, to their name.

Here is the press release sent out by A24 –

(New York, NY) April 19, 2016—A24 announced today that it has optioned the rights to Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks’ renowned book “I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution.” The company will re-team with James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now, The End of the Tour), who will write, produce, and direct the adaptation, which will be their third project together. A24 will produce alongside frequent collaborator Eva Maria Daniels of VisionChaos Productions.

“I Want MY MTV” chronicles the founding and first 10 years of the network, a golden era in both music and television where MTV became the emblem of a new generation. The network was a radical idea that no one thought would succeed; but what started as a channel showcasing videos from obscure British bands soon transformed into a cultural sensation that tapped directly into the imagination and spirit of contemporary teenagers. The same passionate, reckless young group that built the company ushered it into a global phenomenon that deeply influenced everything from movies, music, and television to fashion, sports, and politics.

The film will be a fun, immersive look at the network’s rise, and will weave the book’s testimonials into a thrilling and celebratory account of this one-of-a-kind cultural moment.

About the project, A24 said “We’re so thrilled to be collaborating again with James Ponsoldt to bring this terrific book to the screen. With James on board, we know he’ll bring out all the passion, ingenuity, humor, and humanity that led to MTV becoming perhaps the most powerful influence on pop culture of all time.”

Filmmaker James Ponsoldt says, “As a child of the 1980’s, MTV had a massive impact on me, and I’m so excited to again be working with my friends at A24 in exploring the storied early years of the groundbreaking channel.”

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About Rich Drees 7219 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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