Blue Like Jazz the Movie, the Update

Donald Miller

The book that swept the country will not sweep theaters. It’s a sad day amongst many of my friends. After spending a year writing the screenplay, and another year trying to raise money for the movie, everything seems to be on hold indefinitely.

There are several reasons we won’t be moving forward, but after writing a book about writing the screenplay, I felt I owed everybody a few takes on why:

1. It’s really hard to raise money for movies right now. In fact, it’s worse than it’s ever been in the history of hollywood. On one hand, that’s terrible for us, but on the other it would have been great because Blue Like Jazz would have had much less competition at the box office.

2. Blue Like Jazz is a very hard film for church-going, evangelical Christians to get behind. The folks who invest in Christian movies were scared to death of Blue Like Jazz. While it has a PG-13 rating, there is language, drug use and a scene where the protagonists put a giant condom on a steeple. To me, it’s the only movie that takes an honest look at a Christian kid coming of age in America, a story experienced by tens of millions of students each year. But students don’t fund Christian movies, older white guys do, and they find it hard to relate to the theme.

3. Our lead in the movie is Marshall Allman. Marshall had a stint on Prison Break before passing through Mad Men and now has a recurring role on HBO’s True Blood. Marshall goes back to work filming True Blood in December, so we’ve missed our window to shoot this fall. That means we have to wait even longer, and too much can change if we wait. We simply needed to start filming this October, which means we have two weeks to raise the dough.

So that’s it for now. There is a possibility we can sell the screenplay to a studio for a huge amount of money and I can finally buy that water slide I want that goes from the balcony of my condo to the coffee shop across the street, but studio’s often buy screenplays and never make them, and even if they did, they’d probably turn it into a religious sex romp.

I still hold out hope that the movie will some day be made, and that you’ll get to see it. I think you’d have liked it. Thanks for your support and interest over the past couple years.

Donald Miller

Donald Miller

Donald Miller has been telling his story for more than a decade, now he wants to help you tell yours. He’s helped over 1,000 companies clarify their message through the StoryBrand Workshops. For an introduction to what he’s doing now, check out the 5 Minute Marketing Makeover.