James Ponsoldt, known for directing The Spectacular Now, Smashed, and last year’s The End of the Tour, is journeying back to the musical/television roots of MTV for his next feature film. Ponsoldt will adapt “I Want My MTV”, a book chronicling MTV’s founding and the first decade of the network’s existence that saw it grow from a radical idea to a cultural icon.
Here’s what Ponsoldt himself had to say about the project in a recent press release:
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.
The adaptation is described as “a fun, immersive look at the network’s rise [that] will weave the book’s testimonials into a thrilling and celebratory account of this one-of-a-kind cultural moment.”
Here’s a look at the book’s synopsis (via Amazon):
Remember the first time you saw Michael Jackson dance with zombies in “Thriller”? Diamond Dave karate kick with Van Halen in “Jump”? Tawny Kitaen turning cartwheels on a Jaguar to Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again”? The Beastie Boys spray beer in “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)”? Axl Rose step off the bus in “Welcome to the Jungle”?
Remember When All You Wanted Was Your MTV?
It was a pretty radical idea-a channel for teenagers, showing nothing but music videos. It was such a radical idea that almost no one thought it would actually succeed, much less become a force in the worlds of music, television, film, fashion, sports, and even politics. But it did work. MTV became more than anyone had ever imagined.
I Want My MTV tells the story of the first decade of MTV, the golden era when MTV’s programming was all videos, all the time, and kids watched religiously to see their favorite bands, learn about new music, and have something to talk about at parties. From its start in 1981 with a small cache of videos by mostly unknown British new wave acts to the launch of the reality-television craze with The Real World in 1992, MTV grew into a tastemaker, a career maker, and a mammoth business.
Featuring interviews with nearly four hundred artists, directors, VJs, and television and music executives,I Want My MTV is a testament to the channel that changed popular culture forever.