20 Musician Biopics Currently In Development Hell

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Happy birthday, Janis.
News came down last week that Sacha Baron Cohen will be stepping into the rhinestones and glitter as Queen icon Freddie Mercury. It's been a long time coming for Cohen, the Borat and Bruno star who is slowly becoming his generation's Peter Sellers and has been rumored to have the Mercury role for years now.

The Mercury biopic is supposedly slated to the beginnings of the band from the early '70s until 1985. Production is scheduled to begin later this year, with a screenplay by The Queen scribe Peter Morgan, who also wrote Frost/Nixon for both stage and screen. No word yet on a director for the Mercury flick.

Today would also be Port Arthur blues mama Janis Joplin's 68th birthday, and the idea for a movie about the life of the Southern Comfort-stewed voice behind "Me & Bobby McGee" and "Ball and Chain" has been bouncing around Hollywood since the day Ms. Pearl died in 1971. Almost.

Rocks Off spent a few hours on IMDB yesterday (hey guys!) and started compiling a rough list of all the rock and roll biopics supposedly in the works over the next few years. Some of them, if they pan out, will no doubt be supreme Oscar bait.

We found a few surprises, to say the least. Half of these may never make it to the screen, but it's fun to wish and hope. Hell, we would even see a George Gershwin movie.


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Dusty Springfield: A brassy blonde with tall hair and a dynamite voice? You know, there's is this chick Scarlett Johansson who might work...

Yellow Submarine (remake): No thank you, Robert Zemeckis. Go make another Back To The Future while you still can and stay away from a CGI Yellow Submarine. Dick.

Jerry Lee Lewis: Director Terence Malick is attached. We liked Great Balls of Fire with Dennis Quaid, but "The Killer" (who plays Friday at Nutty Jerry's in Winnie, by the way) was a seedy dude, and that could have been explored more.

Jerry Garcia: We are more than likely a few years out from this one, which will tell the story of Jerry before the Grateful Dead came into the picture.

George Gershwin: Zachary Quinto from Heroes and Star Trek is said to be involved in this one. Hopefully it won't turn out like De-Lovely, the Cole Porter biopic starring Kevin Kline.

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Charley Pride: Terence Howard is attached to the story of Pride and his country-pioneering ways. Personally, we think Darius Rucker would be a fun, if a bit obvious, fit.

Phil Spector: Lately Al Pacino has been playing crazies, with a turn most recently as Dr. Jack Kevorkian for an excellent HBO movie. This time around he will be playing Spector not as the hit-making producer, but the convicted murderer.

The Clash/London Calling: Filmmakers are working on a film about the making of London Calling, and looking for a cast. As much as we wince at everyone being fed weird Hollywood half-truths about The Clash, we can't wait for kids to become enthralled like we were.

Another Brick In The Wall: This one is actually going to be about the kids who, with the help of their music teacher, sang on Pink Floyd's The Wall. A Floyd movie would be a good idea, though...

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I've heard rumors about a Keith Moon biopic for some time now. Supposedly Mike Myers is going to play the self-destructive madman. But I can't really see this happening since Myers is pushing 50.

Manda Malice
Manda Malice

Johnny Depp was an early pick for the Freddy Mercury movie. Really think he would have been great.

I'm STILL waiting for the Keith Moon movie, Dammit! It said Mike Myers is gonna play him.

Plus, for YEARS now there has been "news" that "I Slept With Joey Ramone" was going to be turned into a movie. But the really question is, WHO COULD PLAY HIM?

But since it took YEARS to put the book out, I don't think anyone is really worried about casting yet...

Read that Lukas Haas was a suggestion. I think he'd be a good choice.


Shelby Lynne should play Dusty. She already knows the words. And she can sing. Just sayin'...


Roky Erickson - Jack Black was interested, a few years ago, supposedly.


I’d give my left nut if someone would let me write the Buckley biopic with James Franco starring. I’d take it into “Basquiat” territory. Malick directing a Jerry Lee Lewis flick would be mouth-watering. Of course, Malick directing almost anything does it for me.

Classic Rock Bob
Classic Rock Bob

I've read on and off for several years about a Phil Lynott/Thin Lizzy biopic.

Manda Malice
Manda Malice

Yeah, but Keith Moon LOOKED 50 by the time he died!

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