In answer to your first question: no, Ang Lee’s $5 million – $10 million adaptation of Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, Concert, and a Life will not seek to recreate the legendary 1969 festival that brought together 100,000 hippies in groovy, druggy, muddy harmony. Even if they had a budget north of $50 million, that would be madness.
Instead, Lee and frequent collaborator James Schamus (the most literate studio head ever?) will tell the “exuberant and heartfelt story” about Elliot Tiber, who, according to his memoirs, helped incite the cultural happening from his parents’ Catskills motel. Aside from the lead (maybe a reunion with Tobey Maguire? Do the ages match up?), the film will be an ensemble piece depicting the haphazard planning of Michael Lang’s three-day concert. What with all the talk of “change” in the air, it feels like the right time to revisit that era of rampant idealism (which should leave the door open for some smartass to make a dark comedy about Altamont), and I can’t think of a better duo to tackle the sensitive subject than Lee and Schamus (except maybe Danson & Mandel).
Taking Woodstock is expected to begin shooting before the end of the year. Focus Features will distribute.