By Tobias Handke
Biopics are all the rage in Hollywood, thanks to the surprise box office smash Bohemian Rhapsody.
While I think that retelling of Queen’s story was as weak as piss, it turns out I’m in the minority, with the flick earning over US$900 million and lead Rami Malek somehow winning Best Actor at the Oscar’s. Since then, we’ve seen a number of big-name stars take on musical legends with various degrees of success (Rocketman, The Dirt, etc.) and, with word of Bob Marley and David Bowie biopics in the works, I thought I’d highlight six bands and artists that deserve their own feature film and cast them all by myself. Fuck it.
Fleetwood Mac – No band lends itself more to a feature-length film than Fleetwood Mac. Extra-marital affairs, marriage breakdowns, cocaine addiction, and some of the biggest hits of the 70s are all part of Fleetwood’s incestuous history. Stevie Nicks has previously said she wants Reese Witherspoon to play her, but considering her age, I’d go with someone like Jennifer Lawrence. We know Bradley Cooper can sing, so he’d make a great Lindsey Buckingham; Adam Driver could bring some fun as Mick Fleetwood, and perhaps Tom Holland and Sophie Turner would be fantastic as John and Christie McVie.
The Smiths – In the space of six short years The Smiths managed to become one of the most influential acts to emerge from the British music scene. The chemistry between vocalist and right-wing vegan Morrissey and straight edge guitarist and all-round nice guy Johnny Marr is timeless, with The Smiths depressing take on pop responsible for a generation of musicians. A biopic about the rise and fall of The Smiths would be tremendous, but as for who should play the famous duo, I lean towards Michael Fassbender as Morrissey and Cillian Murphy as Marr. The extended cast could include Stephen Graham as Andy Rourke, Steve Coogan as Mike Joyce and Andrew Dice Clay as the band’s long-time manager Joe Moss.
Janis Joplin – Murmurs of a Janis Joplin film have been doing the rounds for years. Both Amy Adams and Michelle Williams have been mooted to play the carefree rocker with the magic voice, but for me, it has to be Joss Stone. While I’ve no clue if she can act, she’s one of the few singers who can match Joplin’s spine-tingling vocals and shares vaguely similar in appearance. Any film about Joplin would have to delve into her euphoric embracing of the 60s free love movement, her legendary Woodstock performance and unfortunate heroin addiction that led her downfall.
Black Sabbath – It’s hard to believe the pioneers of heavy metal haven’t had a film made about their lives, and with the band disbanded and Ozzy Osbourne on his last legs, there’s no better time than now. I envision this as a two-parter, with the first film chronicling Black Sabbath’s rise from working-class Birmingham kids to global rockstars, ending with Ozzy getting the sack. The second film would detail Ronnie Dio’s involvement while highlight Ozzy’s solo career before concluding with the group reuniting once again as Black Sabbath. I think Tony Cavalero, who played Ozzy in The Dirt, would be great casting. Then I’d go Christian Bale as guitar freak Tony Iommi, James McAvoy as lyricists and bassist Geezer Butler and Nicholas Hoult as drummer Bill Ward. I also like Lena Heady for Sharon Osborne, as you can’t have a movie about Sabbath without including Ozzy’s controversial wife.
Amy Winehouse – Noomi Rapace was once touted to play the UK soul singer, but the project fell apart and the rights to Winehouse’s story were sold to The Amy Winehouse Foundation. While we know Alison Owen and Debra Hayward are directing from a screenplay by Geoff Deane, exactly who will play the troubled songstress is still up for debate. My left of field choice is Sarah Silverman. While known more for her jokes than vocals, Silverman bears a resemblance to Winehouse and has proved she has the dramatic acting chops.
Nirvana – There have been multiple films about Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain over the years, but a film focusing on the band themselves would be just as entertaining. And though we all know Cobain’s story, it would be great to highlight the other members of the band and show how they interacted with Cobain and his wife, Courtney Love. Michael Pitt has already played Cobain in Last Days, so maybe a newcomer like Timothee Chalamet or Ezra Miller—both good looking chaps who can act—would fit the bill. As for the rest of the band I’d love Shia LaBeouf as Dave Grohl, Jason Segel as Krist Novoselic and for the meddling Courtney Love, Margot Robbie is a shoo-in.