Matt Johnson's Next Film Will Be Based on 'Nirvanna the Band the Show'

The filmmaker is also reportedly plotting a project "based on a real-life drug-trafficking case involving Canadian journalists"

Photo: Colin Medley

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished May 12, 2023

Today marks the theatrical release of Matt Johnson's BlackBerry, and while it may seem premature to wonder what's next for the filmmaker, it's been reported that a forthcoming Johnson project will have beloved series Nirvanna the Band the Show at its foundation.

A feature from The Globe and Mail centred on Johnson's film celebrating homegrown smartphone supremacy, which stars Jay Baruchel and Glenn Howerton, makes mention of his slate of upcoming productions, sharing that the next item on the list finds the director and actor "returning to his roots."

The Globe characterizes the production as "a smaller-scale movie based on Nirvanna that will shoot in Toronto and Europe this summer, which the filmmaker and [producing partner and co-writer Matthew Miller] hope will start a Canadian-flavoured Harold & Kumar-style franchise."

Pointing to "more BlackBerry-sized projects" in the works, The Globe also mentions "an ambitious time-travel movie, and another based on a real-life drug-trafficking case involving Canadian journalists."

Johnson and co-creator Jay McCarrol — who is composer and executive producer of BlackBerry — originally created Nirvanna the Band the Show as web series, ahead of its adaptation into a full television production that aired on VICELAND in 2017 and 2018.

Upon news of the television station's closure, Johnson shared that a third season of the show was in the midst of production. Nirvanna the Band the Show's two televised seasons were aired and made available to stream by CBC in 2019.

Read Exclaim!'s interview with Johnson and Baruchel, ahead of reading our review of BlackBerry.

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