The Freddie Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, opened worldwide and grossed over $285 million at the time of this video, already beating NWA biopic, Straight Outta Compton, which made over $200 million at the box office. The rap scene has its fair share of movies, the classic rock, and the heavy metal scene, however, need its moments in the sun. With the trailer of Elton John’s musical biopic out, let's look at ‘The Rock Star Cinematic Universe’ candidates and other musicians who deserve their own movies.
Kurt was the enigmatic lead singer and songwriter for Nirvana. The grunge group shot to a fever pitch of fame with their second album, Nevermind and brought alternative rock to the mainstream media and the public consciousness. He resented the pressure of fame and couldn’t reconcile with his underground roots to being called the spokesperson for a whole generation. He often felt persecuted by the media and the accounts of his private life sensationalized in the press. Later in life, he developed a heroin addiction and was clinically depressed. He was found dead at the age of 27 from a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. His death has been a topic of debate and fascination with fans worldwide and is one of the significant addition to the 27 Club, a list of musicians who died at that age. Mystique still surrounds his name to this day and I bet it makes for an intriguing movie. Perhaps call it ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ or ‘In Bloom.’
The pioneer of the thrash metal, Metallica broke into the genre in the early 80s. The early Metallica albums are considered the gold standards of the heavy metal scene. Their hard-partying drug and alcohol-fueled antics were legendary and out of control, and their lead guitarist Dave Mustaine was such a raging nuisance, they kicked him out of the band three days before they recorded their first album. In fact, Dave Mustaine went on to create his own band, Megadeth and challenged Metallica. We already have a well-documented story with two dynamic rivals of the heavy metal scene. Not only that, Metallica lost their godlike bass player Cliff Burton in a bus accident. Now I think it makes for a particularly interesting story and will serve as a glimpse into these two heavyweights of metal.
Black Sabbath is undoubtedly the pioneer of heavy metal music. Ozzy Osbourne, the notorious singer, dubbed the Prince of Darkness, famously bit the head clean off a bat live on stage. They took inspiration from the dark side of horror and dabbled with devil imagery which led to their band’s ominous sound and dark lyrics. A story ripe with rock mythology. The blatant and excessive use of drugs and alcohols led to Ozzy’s removal from the band, replaced by none other than Ronnie James Dio. This could serve as the first half of the movie, our main protagonist is down, and he comes back in the second half with his own solo career. I bet you can see the movie unfold already. It could be a really dark movie with heavy symbolism and horror elements.
The flamboyant singer and songwriter's explicit lyrics, eclectic work and extravagant sense of style made him instantly recognizable anywhere around the world. The Rock Hall of Famer’s albums caused controversy and full-blown hysteria when the government went to war with his music. One could make an entire movie just based off of that. After the dust settled, Prince starred in the movie, Purple Rain, and released an album with the same name which became his most critically acclaimed and commercially successful release with over 20 million sales. From his contractual fight with Warner Bros. to his death in an accidental overdose, this artist lived and died writing music. Prince’s biopic would be a treat to watch even for people who have never heard of him.
Perhaps the band that most accurately defines the modern hard Rock and Roll scene, AC/DC burst onto the scene with electrifying high voltage rock in the 70s. After the recording of the band’s critical album, ’Highway To Hell,’ their lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott died of ‘acute alcohol poisoning.’ They brought in Brian Johnson as a replacement for Scott and dedicated their next album ‘Back In Black’ to his memory, which became their most successful album. The Angus brothers who started the band described themselves as “a rock and roll band, nothing more, nothing less.” If ever a movie is made about great rock music, it needs to feature the powerful band and their musical legacy.
Elton John’s upcoming biopic Rocketman is all set to release in 2019. The film will focus on the legendary singer’s early days as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music up to his eventual musical partnership with Bernie Taupin. Fans are calling it The Rock Star Cinematic Universe.
The revolutionary singer is considered to be one of the most influential singers of all time. The artist constantly reinvented himself and his music with Space Oddity bringing him into the limelight and Starman giving birth to his alternate flamboyant persona, Ziggy Stardust. His album, ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,’ gained him widespread popularity in the 70s. There was no one bigger than Bowie in the 70s; he almost had a cult-like following both in the States and the UK, perhaps helped by the fact that he starred in the cult film, The Man Who Fell to Earth. A writer could perhaps choose to write about his early years, or his years as Ziggy, or his White Duke persona. The point is, they have enough material to make a trilogy. It would be a welcome addition to the Rock Star Cinematic Universe.
Led Zeppelin tops the list of almost all hard rock fans and critics alike as the number one band in rock history and rightly so. The band’s unique guitar-driven heavy sound led them to be cited as the father of the heavy metal scene. Robert Plant’s bluesy vocals and Jimmy Page’s power riffs led them to the echelon of the rock scene. Perhaps their most iconic album, Led Zeppelin IV also featured their most played song, ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ and led them to gain widespread popularity. Their series of record-breaking tours earned them a reputation for excess debauchery and partying, and led to their drummer John Bonham’s death from alcohol asphyxia. The band disbanded shortly after the incident and came together intermittently to play a few reunion shows. It’s actually insane that their story has not already been adapted as a feature film.
It’s obvious that we have left out a lot of other influential musicians and singers. What musician’ story would you like to see in the movies? Let us know in the comment section below. Drop a like if you agree with our picks and don’t forget to hit the subscribe button as you go.