London CallingThere are so many rock biopics currently loitering in the Hollywood studio system that it's almost impossible to keep track. Currently, in various forms of production and pre-production, reside biopics for Michael Jackson, Elton John, Keith Richards, Ol' Dirty Bastard, B.B. King, James Brown, Janis Joplin, the Beatles' Apple Corps., plus two Jeff Buckley biopics, a Brian Wilson film and a Dennis Wilson film on top of that 'Mamma Mia'-style Beach Boys movie. We're probably forgetting two or a dozen. Essentially, anyone who ever recorded a note has Hollywood eager to produce their life story. With so much going on, here are updates on three such music biopics.
First up, there's the film about Joe Strummer and his desire to disappear after the dissolution of the Clash. The biopic is called 'The Right Profile', which is the second song on the second side on 'London Calling'. Good title, unlikely director: Julie Delpy, the actress/screenwriter best known for 'Before Sunset' and 'Before Sunrise', will helm the film, Variety reports. However, don't get this confused with the other Clash film in the works, the one called 'London Calling' that's about the making of 'London Calling'. As if there weren't enough music movies in the works, now the studios are doubling up. It's like 'The Avengers' at this point; Hollywood should just cast one actor as Joe Strummer for continuity's sake, and then have that actor show up in all the Clash films and any overlapping rock biopics, like the inevitable Sex Pistols movie. If one of the films decide to show Strummer's "Redemption Song" duet with Johnny Cash, they can get Joaquin Phoenix involved again, etc. It's bad enough there are two actors running around pretending to be Jeff Buckley, two Strummers is overkill. It makes us want to smash our guitars while surrounded by green and pink letters.
Next, it's the music biopic that opened the floodgates for all these other music biopics: Sacha Baron Cohen in the role of Queen's Freddie Mercury. Cohen and producer Graham King first announced the project in late-2010, but there hasn't been much news on the Mercury film since as the 'Borat' actor has kept busy with 'Hugo' and 'Django Unchained'. However, King talked to Cinemablend about the film and promises that the Queen movie will go into production next year with Cohen still attached to portray Freddie. Considering the Mercury biopic was the first film announced, by the time its actually made, it might itself being released well after this fad has ended.
Finally, and this is good news for Nirvana fans weary of the Courtney Love-produced Kurt Cobain film: Director/screenwriter Oren Moverman revealed to the Playlist that he is no longer the creative force on the Cobain movie. Don't get us wrong, Moverman is a great director -- the performance he coaxes out of Woody Harrelson in 'Rampart' is generating Oscar buzz — but The Amp approves of anything that keeps this long-gestating biopic on the shelf, because the last thing we want is another Cobain movie. The producers of the Kurt film didn't approve of Moverman's script, even though Love herself was a fan. With the Cobain flick off his schedule, Moverman can now focus on his other music project: The screenplay for the Brian Wilson movie.