Lizzy Goodman‘s oral history — or “dirty time capsule” as she puts it — of the transformative New York City rock scene during the early 2000s is getting the docu-series treatment. Pulse Films announced on Thursday it has acquired the rights to adapt Goodman’s best-selling Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock & Roll in NYC 2001-2011 into a four-part documentary.
The series, expected to be an hour per installment, will combine first-hand testimony and archive footage of many of the seminal bands during the period, namely The Strokes, LCD Soundsystem, Interpol and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Filmmakers promise to dispense with the “expected tropes and conventions of music documentaries” in order to “create a work of true cinematic scale that will redefine the scope of the music documentary form.”
Attached to direct the series are Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern, the duo behind the LCD concert doc Shut Up and Play the Hits as well as the Grammy nominated No Distance Left to Run. Goodman will executive produce, along with Pulse Films’ Thomas Benski, Sam Bridger, and Brian Levy. Jaime Neely will produce.
“At various points during the six long years it took to bring Meet Me in the Bathroom to life, it occurred to me what an incredible documentary this would make,” said Goodman. “At the time it seemed like a total fantasy but it now feels like fate that the team behind Shut Up and Play the Hits, the show that gave me the idea to write this book in the first place, would be the ones to bring Meet Me in the Bathroom to the screen.”
She added, “It’s time to share with everyone else the full view of this weird, beautiful, dirty time capsule I’ve been inhabiting.”
Lovelace and Southern commented that Goodman’s “visceral, evocative book is incredible source material that affords us the scope to go beyond simply documenting a vital and exciting period of creativity in one of the world’s greatest cities, and also explore the seismic changes that have occurred in the culture since the turn of the century.”
One of the book’s more “visceral” passages, accusations and insinuations from members of The Strokes that Ryan Adams enabled guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.’s heroin habit, appeared to inspire a Twitter feud of sorts following the book’s release.
Pulse Films’ previous music-related productions include Nick Cave’s One More Time with Feeling, Take That’s Look Back, Don’t Stare, Arcade Fire’s The Reflektor Tapes and Beyonce’s Peabody Award-winning Lemonade. Earlier this year the studio produced 10-part series about the history of Rock & Roll for British broadcaster Sky.
“Meet Me in the Bathroom is a brilliant property that we are thrilled to be bringing to life in this ambitious way,” said Thomas Benski, CEO of Pulse Films. “With the market clearly gravitating towards landmark non-fiction docu-series, we feel Lizzy’s brilliant book, combined with Will & Dylan’s cinematic vision, will create a series that global audiences will cherish. With music so ingrained in our studios DNA and with our proven ability to use music as a lens to tell amazing stories, Meet Me in the Bathroom felt like a natural project for us to truly get behind.”