The Rock Biopic Roller Coaster

images film rollercoaster

I would love to have seen Mike Myers playing Keith Moon, Aaron Eckhart as Dennis Wilson, William Hurt as Greg Allman and Sacha Baron Cohen as Freddie Mercury. Those were all potential Rock docs that folded for one reason or another. Andre Benjamin played Jimi Hendrix recently in a movie that did not have cooperation with the Hendrix estate so it does not feature his music, but a new Hendrix biopic is in the works with Anthony Mackie (The Falcon from the recent Captain America flick) that might have the estate’s blessing. All of this activity (or inactivity I suppose) makes me wonder why it is so difficult to get these movies made. Ray was a huge success and so was Walk The Line, of course those are exceptions to the rule I’m sure but success usually drives success so I’m at a bit of a loss why the great Rock Doc machine has shut down. Sure there’s Love And Mercy with John Cusack that will come out this year and I’m looking forward to seeing it when it gets to my home streaming service! I want to go see it in a theater but I have the feeling if I don’t get there opening weekend I’m probably out of luck. Plus The James Brown movie Get On Up starring Chadwick Boseman of 42 fame is on the way soon. But does it take the hardest working men and women in Hollywood to get these things not only green lit but finished? Apparently so.

I shouldn’t complain since the ratio of failed projects to successfully completed is probably the same in the rock biopic drama as it is in other dramas. I am just greedy and would like these things to come out as quickly and as often as superhero pictures. Is it more difficult to obtain music rights then it is Marvel and DC character rights? Apparently so. With all of this is mind, I can’t even imagine how a John Lennon bio is going to happen, much less The Beatles that isn’t yet another pre-fame flick like Backbeat or Nowhere Boy. And how many times has there been a Janis Joplin movie in the works that has fallen apart, she is the Wonder Woman of the rock bio picture genre. To end on a positive note I am quite excited that the Miles Davis biopic is being filmed right here in Cincinnati with the perfectly cast Don Cheadle as Miles. I think there was some social media funding used to get that going which indicates that might be the way to get these types of films completed. There’s been quite a few films shot in my neck of the world but this is the first one I’d like to be an extra for or hang out and watch some of it being filmed. I just hope it makes the kind of impact Ray or Walk The Line did. (On a side note if you haven’t seen Walk Hard, it’s worth the time, hillarious!) Do I think despite all of my ranting that some of these films might see the light of day and make me a happy music geek? Apparently so.


2 thoughts on “The Rock Biopic Roller Coaster

  1. Nice! Great topic. Compared to yesteryear the stars must be in alignment and all rights, licenses and contracts agreed upon. Meantime, whole sets of professionals grow old or move on not waiting for the suits to settle it out. Guess we gotta be thankful for what we get when we get it!

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