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The next music group biopic is …

, , and | Thursday, August 27, 2015

NextMusicGroup_Banner_WebJanice Chung | The Observer

With N.W.A.’s biopic, “Straight Outta Compton,” still fresh on moviegoers’ minds, the Scene staff brainstormed: Which music group deserves the next biopic? Which artist has a story so interesting and wildly unbelievable on their way to the top that the only way to believe it is to, well, see it. And see it on the silver screen, in all its glory (preferably in a film less than three hours).


We essentially did the “Wu-Tang spread” on yesterday’s Scene section, and after watching “Straight Outta Compton,” I thought to myself: When will Wu-Tang get their silver screen shine? The “Wu” brand is iconic, even to people who don’t listen to their entire catalogue — after all, does anyone remember “Wu Wear”? They had an entire clothing line just based on their hip-hop group. Only 50 Cent’s “G-Unit” clothing line could top them in that arena. My lone issue is this: How in the world are producers and directors supposed to find enough good actors? The producers of “Straight Outta Compton” had a bit of trouble finding the perfect five cast members to fill the shoes of the original five N.W.A. members, and the original Wu-Tang Clan had almost double N.W.A.’s numbers. That’s a lot of starring roles.


Weezer may not go down in history as the most critically acclaimed band of all time, but their story is certainly something. Take four awkward, geeky college kids and turn them into one of rock’s biggest name in just a few short months. Whether it be Weezer’s hysterically dorky music videos like “Buddy Holly” or “Pork and Beans” or its ability to craft some of alt-rock’s most catchy hooks in songs like “Say It Ain’t So” or “My Name Is Jonas,” the band offers something for everyone. Yet to me, Weezer provides a perfect snapshot of that late ’90s and early 2000s childhood in which I was raised. Every time I hear the booming intro of “Beverly Hills,” I immediately begin to reminisce about my iPod Shuffle. I even remember jamming out to “Undone – The Sweater Song” on my sweet “Guitar Hero” set for the PlayStation that I got for Christmas. Any biopic encapsulating that weird and fabulous time in life would be a movie I would love to see. Only question left would be who to play Rivers Cuomo? My vote would go to Michael Cera.  


Anyone else interested in witnessing one of history’s most influential rock groups’ rise to fame? I would love to see Ireland’s own U2 on the big screen. A Dublin high school garage band’s transformation into activism — not to mention footage of Bono rocking sweet sunglasses and The Edge soloing and soundchecking — would make quite the coming-of-age story, right?  Honestly, I’d just love to see them perform “Vertigo,” “Beautiful Day,” “One,” “Ordinary Love” (ugh, so many songs I can’t choose from) throughout Dublin.  Side note, I’d really like them to cover “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” at a wedding, even though that may not happen in a big motion picture. That’s just a bucket-list thing. Universal would need a talented line-up, but Drake Bell definitely reminds me of a young Bono. All in all, U2 would make an excellent biopic for all ages to reminisce and enjoy.


The problem most music biopics run into is trying to cram an artist’s entire decades-long career into a 90-minute film instead of focusing on just one period. Kanye West is arguably the most important musician of the past decade but also one of the most public. Yet, after he interrupted Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs, he disappeared from the public eye — one of the few periods of his life that was not incessantly covered by the tabloids. In the months that followed, he worked as an intern at Fendi and retreated to a compound in Hawaii to record “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.” It’s the story of how the most hated man in the world went into exile, excised his demons and created the best artistic work of his career — a classic American story of redemption for the 21st century.

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