The Sex Pistols get a biopic: What to to know about the new series
Music nerds have debated the origin of punk rock for decades and the argument will no doubt continue for years to come. A key player in the conversation has always been The Sex Pistols, and their saga has reached legendary status with audiophiles & UK tourists alike.
The Sex Pistols transcend their role as a historic band in the history of rock & roll to downright pop culture icons. Frontman Johnny Rotten is a respected voice in nearly every documentary discussing punk rock, a genre many argue his band had a key role in creating.
Furthermore, The Sex Pistols are cemented in pop culture and their reach expands beyond fans of their music; the “God Save the Queen” cover art appears on t-shirts & walls in college dorms around the globe while learning of the story of bassist Sid Vicious & girlfriend Nancy Spungen is a rite of passage in the coming of age of the contemporary alt kid.
Past punk pictures
In fact, any punk can tell you there’s no shortage of films to watch for the Sex Pistols fan. From documentaries like D.O.A.: A Rite of Passage & The Filth and the Fury to fictionalized accounts like Sid and Nancy & The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, fans can rack up hours learning about the punk legends.
The band’s relevance marches on and is set to be the subject of yet another story on screen, this time another fictionalized account in the band’s first legit biopic called Pistol.
We say the first legit biopic because unlike Sid and Nancy which the band had minimal involvement in making and focused on Vicious’s love story (played by Gary Oldman in one of his first notable roles), Pistol is an adaptation of Sex Pistols’s guitarist Steve Jones’s autobiography. If that’s not enough to wet the whistle of music & film fans everywhere, it’ll behoove them to know Danny Boyle is behind the new series.
Boyle is responsible for modern cult classics like Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, and The Beach (young Leo Dicaprio at his heart-throbbiest in 2000) as well as Oscar bait like 127 Hours & Slumdog Millionaire. The renowned director has dabbled with TV in the past, but Pistol will be his first full series.
NME reports Pistol will run on FX and will begin filming in early March, but the hype doesn’t stop there. The series is set to have quite the roster of hot young stars to carry the story of the UK’s most infamous punk band.
1917’s Anson Boon is set to take on the role of John Lyndon, A.K.A. Jonny Rotten in The Sex Pistols biopic, while Louis Partridge from Enola Holmes will take on the first depiction of Sid Vicious in the 2020s.
None of these are as exciting though, as the return of Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams to the small screen in Pistol. Williams is set to play Pamela Rooke A.K.A. Jordan, a frequent Sex Pistols show attendee & highly influential figure in the UK punk scene during its birth in the 1970s. Her work as a model with punk-rock designer Vivienne Westwood helped cement the punk look we all know & love today.
Toby Wallace from Babyteeth is set to play Steve Jones, whose memoir Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol will be the basis for the six-part series. Newcomer Jacob Slater is set to play Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook.
Danny Boyle is quoted in NME describing the series as one capturing a widely influential time in the history of the UK. The Oscar-winning director equates the rise of The Sex Pistols and its influence in the UK as one that challenged the prim & proper ruling class featured in shows like The Crown, and that at this time “British society and culture changed forever”.
Pistol begins filming on March 7th, and there’s no set release date for the punk rock miniseries. It’s hard to imagine the freshly manicured stars of Pistol as the pimply, spitting punk icons The Sex Pistols, but we’ll wait in great anticipation to see them; finally, we’ll catch a series on the UK with a little more edge than the streaming giants dominating its historical drama scene with period pieces.