One of John Mayer’s songs is being made into a movie. The musician confirmed that his song “Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967,” from his 2012 album Born & Raised, is hitting the big screen during his performance on Sunday at the Pine Creek Lodge in Livingston, Montana. The show was part of his Rise For the River benefit to raise money for flood relief efforts in Park County, Montana, the place Mayer calls home.
“I wanna say one thing that might get me in trouble, ’cause that’s what I do. That song is soon to be a major motion picture,” Mayer said after playing “Walt Grace” during his solo acoustic set, during which he ran through the entire tracklist of Born & Raised. He was accompanied by Aaron Sterling on drums.
“It’s true. It’s gonna be a movie,” Mayer added.
“Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967″ is the ninth track on Born & Raised. The song tells the story of Walt Grace, a man who has a dream to build a submarine and travel across the ocean to Japan. Despite doubts from his friends and family — “His wife told his kids he was crazy, and his friends said he’d fail if he tried,” as the lyrics go — Walt perseveres and successfully completes his mission. He ends up becoming somewhat of a hometown hero: “Now his friends bring him up when they’re drinkin’/ at the bar with his name on the side/ and they smile when they can/ as they speak of the man/ who took a homemade, fan-blade, one-man submarine ride.”
Some clever Redditors have long suspected that “Walt Grace” is movie material, and discovered back in 2020 that an IMDb page existed for a short film called “Walt Grace Submarine Test, January 1967“ written and directed by Justin Wheelon.
Wheelon has acted in several films, including Iron Man 3, The Watch and They Came Together. He’s also the director of the 2012 drama Untouched Hope and has won multiple Southeast Emmy Awards for his shorts PreachersNSneakers and Above the Storm.
“Longing for adventure, a family man tells those closest to him that he intends to pursue an absurd, lifelong dream,” reads the film’s description from IMDb.
Wheelon and Mayer’s reps did not immediately respond to MovieMaker‘s request for comment or any additional information about the film and its release date.
John Mayer is no stranger to movies. He recently appeared in B.J. Novak’s new film Vengeance and has also made appearances in 2015’s Get Hard and 2014’s Zombeavers. His original songs have also graced the soundtracks of several films, most notably his single, Say, which was featured in the 2007 film The Bucket List.
This also isn’t the first time one of Mayer’s songs has been in development for the screen. His song The Heart of Life, from his 2006 album Continuum, inspired a pilot for an ABC series of the same name, which Mayer would have executive produced if it had been picked up for the fall 2019 season.
John Mayer has been living in the Paradise Valley area of Park County, Montana for a decade now, and famously named his 2013 album Paradise Valley after his new home. The proceeds from the Rise For the River benefit will go to The Park County Community Foundation. Earlier this month the benefit featured other performances with Mayer and his Dead & Company bandmate Bob Weir, and also Mayer’s longtime friend Dave Chappelle, with whom he does a comedy-musical act called Controlled Danger.
“I am just so moved. It’s such a special event, these shows, and this is such a special place, this is such a special town and a special county and a special state,” Mayer said of Park County, Montana towards the end of the show. “You know, you see a lot of people talking in the world about how to change things, and sometimes it’s really big and it’s hard to change because it’s the world, or it’s the country. And it gives me, personally, a lot of inspiration and a lot of hope to see something get tended to with so much cooperation and so much unity, and seeing things get fixed, and seeing things change. That’s really hopeful, to just see, every once in a while, something go from, ‘Here’s the problem, here’s part of the solution, here’s everybody working together to make that solution.’ It’s very inspiring, even if just this scale here. I think it’s going to have a ripple effect.”
Main Image: John Mayer live in concert in Raleigh, North Carolina on September 5, 2013. Courtesy of Shutterstock.