Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: First Trailer For Gillian Flynn's 'Dark Places' Starring Charlize Theron, Chloë Moretz, And Nicholas Hoult Watch: First Trailer For Gillian Flynn's 'Dark Places' Starring Charlize Theron, Chloë Moretz, And Nicholas Hoult Review: Neill Blomkamp's 'Chappie,' Starring Die Antwoord, Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver And Hugh Jackman Review: Neill Blomkamp's 'Chappie,' Starring Die Antwoord, Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver And Hugh Jackman 'Chappie' Actor Admits There Was "Tension" On Set With Die Antwoord's Ninja; Check Out Two New Featurettes 'Chappie' Actor Admits There Was "Tension" On Set With Die Antwoord's Ninja; Check Out Two New Featurettes Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2016 Best Actor Contenders Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2016 Best Actor Contenders 2015 Tribeca Film Festival Line-Up Announced: James Franco’s ‘Adderall Diaries,’ Olivia Wilde In ‘Meadowland’ & More 2015 Tribeca Film Festival Line-Up Announced: James Franco’s ‘Adderall Diaries,’ Olivia Wilde In ‘Meadowland’ & More First Look: Joseph Gordon-Levitt As Edward Snowden In Oliver Stone's 'Snowden' First Look: Joseph Gordon-Levitt As Edward Snowden In Oliver Stone's 'Snowden' Drew Goddard To Write And Direct Sony & Marvel's 'The Spectacular Spider-Man'; 'Sinister Six' Scrapped Drew Goddard To Write And Direct Sony & Marvel's 'The Spectacular Spider-Man'; 'Sinister Six' Scrapped Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2016 Best Picture Contenders Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2016 Best Picture Contenders Watch: Original Short Film Version Of 'Whiplash' Starring Oscar Winner J.K. Simmons Watch: Original Short Film Version Of 'Whiplash' Starring Oscar Winner J.K. Simmons Watch: Nifty Video Examines David Fincher’s Subtle Repetition Of Framing And Blocking In 'Gone Girl' Watch: Nifty Video Examines David Fincher’s Subtle Repetition Of Framing And Blocking In 'Gone Girl' Sigourney Weaver Says She'll Be Playing A New Character In The 'Avatar' Sequels Sigourney Weaver Says She'll Be Playing A New Character In The 'Avatar' Sequels Kristen Stewart Joins Kelly Reichardt’s Untitled Montana Drama With Michelle Williams & More Kristen Stewart Joins Kelly Reichardt’s Untitled Montana Drama With Michelle Williams & More 'Prisoners' & 'Enemy' Director Denis Villeneuve To Helm 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Harrison Ford Confirmed To Return 'Prisoners' & 'Enemy' Director Denis Villeneuve To Helm 'Blade Runner' Sequel, Harrison Ford Confirmed To Return The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far "I F*cked It Up": Neill Blomkamp Says He Wants To Go Back To 'Elysium' And "Do It Correctly" "I F*cked It Up": Neill Blomkamp Says He Wants To Go Back To 'Elysium' And "Do It Correctly" The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Jez Butterworth To Write Untitled Feature About The Making Of The Clash's 'London Calling'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist December 1, 2010 at 3:51AM

Call It 'Titans Of The Clash.' We Dare YouIt's only a couple of weeks since we were last extolling our love of seminal punk band The Clash, so we'll spare you the full shtick: in short, they're certainly the greatest of the punk bands, and possibly the single greatest band in the history of rock and roll. It seems that filmmakers have just cottoned on to that fact -- a few weeks back it was announced that Paul Viragh, writer of the terrible Ian Dury biopic "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll," was penning "Joe Public," about the band's frontman Joe Strummer. Now, word has emerged of a rival project, which threatens to see the other one consigned to history.
1

Call It 'Titans Of The Clash.' We Dare You


It's only a couple of weeks since we were last extolling our love of seminal punk band The Clash, so we'll spare you the full shtick: in short, they're certainly the greatest of the punk bands, and possibly the single greatest band in the history of rock and roll. It seems that filmmakers have just cottoned on to that fact -- a few weeks back it was announced that Paul Viragh, writer of the terrible Ian Dury biopic "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll," was penning "Joe Public," about the band's frontman Joe Strummer. Now, word has emerged of a rival project, which threatens to see the other one consigned to history.

Screen Daily and Variety both report that writer Jez Butterworth will write a currently untitled feature about the band for Ruby Films ("Tamara Drewe"), and will co-produce along with the company's head honchos Alison Owen and Paul Trijbits, with shooting planned to get underway next year.

Butterworth has a slightly dicey history in the features world, penning the Nicole Kidman comedy-drama "Birthday Girl," and this year's Doug Liman drama "Fair Game" (the latter with brother John-Henry Butterworth), but he's best known as a playwright, and as one of the best of his generation -- his plays include "Mojo" (adapted as a film in 1997), "The Night Heron," "The Winterling" and "Parlour Song."

However, it was last year's "Jerusalem" that brought him renewed attention -- when it opened at the Royal Court in London last year, it was acclaimed as an instant classic, and rightfully so -- it's one of the greatest evenings at the theater that this writer's ever spent. It's coming to Broadway next spring, and we'd urge any New York readers to see it then. He was also writing the biopic of war photographer Robert Capa for Michael Mann, which seems to have fallen apart, as well as a draft of the James Brown biopic that Spike Lee was working on.

Butterworth's presence immediately elevates the film above its rival, even if Butterworth hasn't quite had the success on the screen that he has on the stage as yet. But the real killer blow is that band members Mick Jones and Paul Simonon are serving as executive producers and advisors on the film, and have granted exclusive rights to use the music, which would seem to relegate "Joe Public" to Jackie Jormp-Jomp territory.

The plot seems appropriately focused, as it'll center on the recording of seminal album "London Calling," and the relationship between the band and producer Guy Stevens, who had a major influence on the record, before dying of a drug overdose in 1981. While the signs are good so far, we're not sure that there's any burning need for a movie about the band, especially considering that the number of band biopics that turned out to be any good can be counted on the fingers of no fingers. There aren't any, is what we're saying.

Having said that, maybe this'll be the one that turns it around -- Butterworth's more than talented enough to pull it off. There doesn't seem to be a director attached at present, but with the writer having directed both "Mojo" and "Birthday Girl" it's not inconceivable to think that he may want to make his return to direction here. More news will follow in the coming months, we're sure.

This article is related to: Musicians, The Clash, Jez Butterworth


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates