Nick Hornby’s 2007 novel Slam – which includes pro skateboarder Tony Hawk as a character – is being developed as a Broadway musical, with Hawk along for the ride as a producer and skate choreographer.
And he’s in good company: composer Mark Mothersbaugh will write the music and lyrics, with SpongeBob SquarePants the Musical‘s Kyle Jarrow handling the book.
The project was announced today by producers Anita Greenspan and Hawk with executive producer Adam Zotovich. They’re aiming for the 2020-2021 Broadway season, and the rest of the creative team will be announced later.
Producers describe Slam as “a funny, heartfelt coming-of-age story about 17-year-old Sam, a kid from a troubled background who finds refuge and hope in the world of skateboarding. When he falls in love for the first time, with a girl named Alicia, it seems like everything’s looking up – until she gets unexpectedly pregnant. Suddenly Sam has to grow up fast. Along the way, he finds guidance through imagined conversations with Tony Hawk, his idol.”
Though the novel was set in London, the musical will place the story in the U.S.
Mothersbaugh – the Devo front man turned Hollywood composer – has a history with skateboarding. Devo’s music is so closely associated with the sport that the band was inducted into the Skate Boarding Hall Of Fame in 2013. In addition to various video games and skate videos, Devo’s music was featured in skate documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys.
Among Mothersbaugh’s extensive scoring credits are Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore, The Lego Movie, Thor: Ragnarok and TV shows Rugrats, The Carrie Diaries and Dirty John. Mothersbaugh is partnered with Slam producer Greenspan in Mutato Productions, producing numerous soundtracks and live events. Zotovich’s producing credits include Dear Evan Hansen, The Color Purple and the Evita revival featuring Ricky Martin, among many others.
Jarrow was Tony Award-nominated for his Spongebob musical book, and he created and exec-produced the CW network series Valor. He also created the streaming series Lost Generation, and his playwriting credits include the Obie-winning A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant, The Wildness, Whisper House and Love Kills, among others.
Hawk, a World Champion skateboarder for 12 consecutive years, has built his brand into a billion-dollar franchise, and his 900 Films production company’s Ride Channel is a destination YouTube spot for skaters. Hawk also created the Boom Boom HuckJam arena tour that combines the choreography of skating, bmx, motocross and music (including Devo).
Hornby’s books Fever Pitch, High Fidelity and About a Boy have been adapted into notable feature films.