With the critical and commercial success of the recently released N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, there is suddenly a spate of rumoured films in the pipeline. With Outkast, Public Enemy, Snoop Dogg, Wu-Tang Clan as speculative suggestions, some of which have already been shot down, to the ‘confirmed’ Master P in house No Limit Forever Films’ production slated for a 2016 release, it seems like every artist with any kind of story is looking to get themselves onto the big screen. Never mind the reasons behind the sudden influx of music films. Instead, it just seems like much more fun to predict, pray for, and suggest the music films that should, nay, need to happen.
Not all movies are created equal, even in the same genre, you wouldn’t compare Notorious to I’m Not There, so we won’t either. Instead let’s try to outline a distinct vision of the topic, style, and focus of the films. So of course, we’ll have to break this down into sections.
Now remember, this is NOT about making films about the best artists – it’s about what would make the best movie. Purely fantasy, we’re not thinking about those old chestnuts like rights, licensing and more. Have we taken creative liberties? Sure. But hey, this is our little dream world.
Without further adieu, let’s go.
Category #1: The Speculative
Directed By: Kanye West
Written By: Kanye West
Starring: Kanye West
Completely predictable, completely obvious, but still completely amusing. After announcing his 2020 presidential campaign, Kanye is continuing his reign as music’s most outspoken, absurd and interesting artist. Nobody can capture Kanye quite like Kanye, so he’ll be writing, directing and starring in it. We figure that he’s already creating his own myth and reality within the real world, so one can only wonder about what kind of stylised world Yeezus would create, were he to make a biopic. Or perhaps it would be fiction? Could he have to defend the white-house from terrorist Taylor Swift fans? Could he bring diplomatic peace to Palestine and Israel with slam poetry? Could the movie be a psychedelic construction inside his own mind where Kanye must fight his inner demons to ascend to his second term as president? Anything is on the table! And what role does Kim Kardashian play? Does their first meeting in the film look exactly like the Bound 2 video clip? This one could be a Zardoz or Holy Mountain-esque instant classic!
Justin (To be released in 2030)
Directed by: Sofia Coppola
All-aboard the Justin Bieber train. He’s already won us over with his interview with Jimmy Fallon, and we predict that soon Bieber will ascend to that James Franco circa 2011 level of cool (you know, before we fully realised he was weird). I’m not ruling out a heroin phase, a stint as a rapper, or a Brain Wilson style pop-record that drives him into complete madness, or even a precipitous fall from grace. But we know Sofia Coppola can capture the madness of youth with elegance, and imagine the 14 year-old Bieber partying with Usher, dealing with the harshness of celebrity and fame in a redemptive coming-of-age classic. Couldn’t you see this winning an Oscar?
One Direction Home (To be released in 2022)
Directed By: David Fincher
Yes, yes, I know, One Direction are breaking-up, or are they? But this one is banking on the inevitable years of forthcoming turmoil. We’ve seen Fincher handle egomaniacal creators fighting with their best friends before with The Social Network, so imagine that times five. The story would obviously centre around Harry Styles, but there is plenty of room for ancillary characters. What with Liam Payne’s drinking, or the crucible of media speculation about Louis Tomlinson‘s sexual orientation, there is plenty of rich material to explore. The documentation of the tour followed by the bands ‘hiatus’ followed by their triumphant return, I could very well see it capturing that wistful Almost Famous vibe. If I had to pick a sleeper for the best of my imaginary music movies, this might be the one.
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh
Bear with me here, but this will be a hard-hitting drama about the rise and fall of Taylor Swift. In my imaginary world, Swift continues to dominate music well into the next decade, before a sudden, and vicious fall from grace. The villainous swift is convicted of fraud, perversion of justice, as well as conspiracy to commit murder. Behind the sweet smile is vicious killer who will stop at nothing to achieve success. 1989 is a detailed biopic about Swift’s ruthless ambition and machiavellian evil. We’ve had a taste of Swift’s power, striking fear into Diplo’s heart, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Have at it Soderbergh.
Category #2: Why haven’t they been made already?
Directed by: TBA
We went back and forth on this one being a documentary or a biopic. But either way, arguably Australia’s biggest rock legend, and notorious larrikin and partyer, the story of AC/DC’s Bon Scott deserves a real re-telling. Picking a director for this one is too difficult, it’s such an overwhelming story of bloke-ism and decadence that the content and style would probably overwhelm the directorial element anyway. But it would be amazing to see someone capture the rock’n’roll energy of Bon on film.
Live Your Life
Directed By: Ron Howard
This would basically just a longer, more dramatic version of T.I’s Live Your Life video clip. It has everything a movie needs, an origin story filled with hardship, overcoming the odds, and reaching the pinnacle. Underpin it all with sweeping Ron Howard direction and a swelling score, and you’ve got yourself that movie that you thought you’d hate, but was actually pretty good.
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson
We’ve all read the book, it’s crazy. Drugs, parties, women, fights, fucking, and that’s when Anthony Kiedis is like 12 years old. An obvious one here, and an obvious director too, but Anderson is fucking good at this shit, he gets drugs, he gets fame, and he gets music, but most importantly, he gets Los Angeles. PTA grew up in L.A, and he makes it look better than anyone else. For a truly Californian band, there is no way he doesn’t nail this one. Let’s just make sure it doesn’t feature any of The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ music post-2001.
Directed By: Danny Boyle
There was a time when The Libertines‘ frontman Pete Doherty was one of the biggest celebrities on the planet. From his Sid and Nancy exploits with Kate Moss, to his well publicized drug addiction, all of his successes and mis-steps would make a rich tapestry for Trainspotting director Danny Boyle.
Directed By: David Lynch
I know what you’re thinking. Again with the talk of a Lil Wayne-David Lynch collab (has anyone ever had that thought in the history of humanity? I really hope so). I wanna see Weezy drinkin’ down some syrup and finding himself in Lynch-ian experimental nightmare the likes of which has never been seen. Move over Eraserhead, Weezy comin’.
2pac(although it’s been announced and stalled so many times already. My director pick: Steve Mcqueen)
Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (The Odd Future crew gleefully upsets the establishment but finds themselves back where they started at the end of the picture, a Coen Brothers jaunt)
Tom Waits (About whatever my chosen director Denis Villeneuve wants it to be about)
Axel Rose (directed by Penelope Spheeris, give him the Wayne’s World treatment)
Jay and B (Hip-hops power couple directed by Steven Spielberg of course)
Ryan Adams (not sure it would make a good movie, but I’d watch it, especially if Jeff Nichols directed it)
Eddie (If Eddie Vedder wasn’t so secretive I’m sure me and a million other people would love to watch Cameron Crowe take a shot at his life story)
Madonna (showwomanship captured by Baz Luhrman)
Bono (Sean Penn directs it, and the world explodes from self-righteousness)
Michael Jackson (Directed by Roman Polanski, yep, cheap shot, and I’m not proud of it. Love you Michael)
The Rolling Stones (Martin Scorsese’s probably overdone it with the Stones, but who cares. He already uses there songs in every movie, at least this time he’ll have a real excuse)
Stevie (The Fleetwood Mac frontwoman rocking out as told by Katheryn Bigalow)