Ang Lee Directing an Adaptation of Taking Woodstock

April 23, 2008
Source: Variety

Ang Lee

Oscar-winning director Ang Lee has directed nearly everything - the Hulk, gay cowboys, sexual spies, kung fu experts, romantic sisters - now he's tackling the greatest concert of all-time - Woodstock! Lee will direct and Focus Features president James Schamus will write the screenplay for a film based on Elliot Tiber's memoir "Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, Concert, and a Life." While not exactly about the concert itself, the story instead focuses on a motel owner who inadvertently sets in motion what would eventually become one of the most unforgettable concerts in history. Production is expected to begin before year's end with a $5 to $10 million budget.

The film will focus solely the lead character of Elliot Tiber and feature a "colorful" ensemble as well. Although it will be set during the "politically turbulent" summer of 1969, there's no word (at least in regards to licensing) on whether the film will actually feature any of the music from that time. Schamus explains his enthusiasm for the project: "Elliot's exuberant and heartfelt story is a perfect window onto the Woodstock experience. It explores an inspiring historical moment when liberation and freedom were in the air." Let's just hope that makes for a good story on screen, too.

Ang Lee and James Schamus have worked together previously as director/writer on 10 films, including: The Ice Storm, Ride with the Devil, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hulk, and Lust, Caution. If you've liked any of Lee and Schamus' work previously, it's likely Taking Woodstock will deliver in the same vein. You can pick up a copy of the book on and check out the story of Elliot Tiber and Woodstock before the film goes into production - something that I'd highly suggest.

Taking Woodstock

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For those of us who have read this MARVELOUS book, this is especially GREAT news. Elliot Tiber's life is an American success story that should inspire many. His devotion to his family and friends is a great example of the kind of life one should lead and gives new meaning to the phrase, "don't give up". He was right in the middle of this Nation's "coming of age" and he suffered through many trials and tribulations, only to emerge as a better man instead of a defeated man. CONGRATULATIONS to all of those who will make this movie possible. It is bound to be a block buster. ...and especially CONGRATULATIONS to Elliot Tiber, a Renaissance Man who's time has finally come. One does not have to be gay to be inspired by this wonderful man. He is an inspiration to ALL.

Roger P. Orcutt, Ph.D. on Apr 23, 2008


$5 to $10 million? No way you can get Country Joe and the Fish and Santana to perform for that.

kevjohn on Apr 23, 2008


You can if they take a piece of the profits instead of a fixed salary, which is definitely the smart way to go. In any event, for this specific case, they would merely need to pay a copyright fee to Warner Brothers which owns the rights to the Woodstock movie with those acts playing during the actual festival, which is what one would want in the first place. This is a movie about what happened 40 years ago, so that would be the appropriate footage. This is going to be fantastic...remember what they made Rocky I for...and what it brought in. Time will tell, but I am very optimistic about THIS one.

Roger P. Orcutt, Ph.D. on Apr 23, 2008


Who cares about a bunch of liberal drug addict losers?

Nick on Apr 23, 2008


i was very happy to take part and play an extra in this film.everybody was wonderful and a fun time as well.very very cool. ang lee very patient and fun to work with

enserfud on Oct 5, 2008


Can anyone say B O R I N G ? I saw this last night... what a mess and the music stunk. Was there even a music soundtrack??? I can't remember, the movie was DULL, DULL, DULL. Billed as a comedy, I don't think I laughed once, except at Imelda Staunton who was so good, I hated her. The ONLY other good character was Liev Schreiber.

Hambone on Feb 5, 2009

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