Danny Boyle to make Sex Pistols TV series

Image Credit: Nick Fewings

A new Sex Pistols series is coming from Trainspotting director Danny Boyle, starring Maisie Williams.

Based on Sex Pistol guitarist Steve Jones’ memoir, Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol, the six-part TV series Pistol is set to star Anson Boon (1917) as John Lydon and Louis Partridge (Enola Holmes) as Sid Vicious. Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams will play Pamela Rooke, aka Jordan, the icon credited with building the punk style.

The show will air in the US on FX, with filming due to start in March this year. No broadcaster has been announced for the UK as of yet, although FX’s partnership deal with the BBC makes them most likely to air the new TV series.

Created by Craig Pearce, co-writer along with Frank Cottrell-Boyce, the episodes will be ‘anchored by Jones’ memoir’, a description of the limited series stated; following Jones from ‘West London’s council estates, to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s notorious Kings Road Sex shop, to the international controversy that came with the release of Never Mind the Bollocks, which is frequently listed as one of the most influential albums of all time.’

Steve Jones formed the first incarnation of the Sex Pistols in 1972 with drummer Paul Cook. It was the addition of John Lydon – aka Johnny Rotten – which brought the band to a new anti-establishment level. The band added Sid Vicious after bassist Glen Matlock left. Between 1976 and 1978, reacting to the disenchanted British youth either unemployed or stuck in dead-end jobs, the band channelled their anger and energy into creating a new kind of rock music. Out of the short, simply structured, furious songs came the British punk movement, built on rebellious chaos and radical fashion rather than musical talent.

British television at the time gravely debated the ‘evils’ of punk rock, and The Sex Pistols’ number one single ‘God Save the Queen’ was banned by the BBC after its release in 1977, the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. They were banned in so many venues in fact that they had to tour secretly as S.P.O.T.S (‘Sex Pistols on Tour Secretly’). After a blistering few months the band imploded after releasing only one album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols, splitting up after a US tour in 1978.

There’s no release date for Pistol yet, but this coming year does see the release of several music films. Already out is Johnny Flynn-starring Bowie biopic Stardust, which attempts to tell the tale of David Bowie’s first publicity tour in the US without using any Bowie songs. The filmmakers couldn’t get permission from the singer’s estate, but made the film anyway. Critical response has been mixed, to say the least. Respect, an Aretha Franklin film starring Jennifer Hudson is due in August 2021, and Baz Lurhmann’s Elvis should also appear in October, featuring Austin Butler as Elvis Presley and Tom Hanks as his manager Colonel Tom Parker.

Madeleine Amos
I write about music for RouteNote, sharing fun stuff, news, and tips and tricks for musicians and producers. Also a saxophonist and hater of marmalade.

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