Saturday, 20 Apr 2024

The Sex Pistols will be the next band to hit the big screen in biopic

Never Mind Bohemian Rapsody, Here’s The Sex Pistols: Punk pioneers will be the next band to hit the big screen after Queen biopic took £600m and scooped four Oscars

  • Starlight Films are set to release a new Sex Pistols biopic as soon as next year
  • The Elton John biopic, Rocket Man, is set to hit screens in the UK this May    
  • Initial career of Sex Pistols lasted just two and a half years with only one album 
  • ‘A Sex Pistols biopic, by definition, won’t have the same broad commercial appeal’
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The Sex Pistols are the next band which will be featured in a major film. 

Following the success of Bohemian Rhapsody, which made more than £600million at the box office and won four Oscars, the Elton John biopic – Rocket Man – is due to be released in May. 

A new Netflix TV show, The Dirt, follows Mötley Crüe’s tumultuous career and Danny Boyle’s new film, Yesterday, was inspired by the music of the Beatles. 

The Sex Pistols will be the next band to feature in a major film biopic. Starlight Films have been working on the biopic for 18 months and are into the casting process. Pictured: The Sex Pistols performing at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco in 1978. Left to right: Sid Vicious, Johnny Rotten and Steve Jones

The film world has seen a recent trend in biopics about influential musicians. Elton John’s biopic, Rocket Man, is due to hit screens in May and Queen’s film, Bohemian Rhapsody, won four Oscars and made more than £600million in box office sales 

The trend for biopics about influential musicians continues as filmmaker Ayesha Plunkett is hoping to bring out the Sex Pistols biopic next year. 

Ms Plunett, who has been working on the biopic for 18 months with Starlight Films, told the Daily Star: ‘We were impressed by the box office takings for Bohemian Rhapsody.

‘It only goes to show the public has an appetite for these films.’

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The company is about to start the casting process and have say they already have a wishlist for who they want to play main characters Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood. 

The pair ran a clothing shop in the 70s on the Kings Road called SEX, which influenced punk fashion in the UK. 

McLaren then went on to manage the Sex Pistols.  

Starlight believe that the tempestuous journey of the Sex Pistols, who were only together from 1975 to 1978, will make for great viewing.

The initial career of the Sex Pistols only lasted for two and a half years from 1975 to 1978 and saw just four singles and one recorded album, Never Mind the B****cks, Here’s the Sex Pistols. Pictured left to right: Paul Cook, Johnny Rotten, Steve Jones

Daily Mail film critic Brian Viner said: ‘A Sex Pistols biopic, by definition, won’t have the same broad commercial appeal as Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, not to mention the new Danny Boyle film Yesterday, inspired by the music of The Beatles.

‘But everything depends on how good it is. Whether you loved or hated the Sex Pistols, or were pretty indifferent to them as I was, they certainly represented a moment in history. 

‘If the film really captures the social and cultural significance of the punk movement, with humour and a lightness of touch, then it could tap into the powerful nostalgia market.

‘As for why there are so many music biopics being made by mainstream filmmakers (even Clint Eastwood got in on the act, with Jersey Boys, about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons), the truth of the matter is that the film industry, a bit like publishing, is a business which depends on imagination while suffering from a lack of it. 

‘In other words, producers see a hit and think, ’’there’s obviously an appetite for this … let’s cash in”.’

‘The other reason is age. We’re seeing films being made about the Seventies and Eighties, because those were the formative years of today’s filmmakers, and millions of today’s cinema-goers. 

‘You don’t often see biopics being made about big musical stars of the Thirties and Forties – Frank Sinatra, for instance – because they don’t touch the same collective chord.’         


The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock back which formed in London in 1975 and was fronted by Johnny Rotten (John Lydon). 

They are credited with starting the punk rock movement in the UK.

Even though their initial career together only lasted for two and a half years and only produced just four singles and one studio album (Never Mind the B****cks, Here’s the Sex Pistols) they are thought of as one of the most influential bands in the history of pop music. 

The initial lineup of the band comprised of singer Johnny Rotten, guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook and bassist Glen Matlock (who was replaced by Sid Vicious in 1977).

The Sex Pistols tearing an EMI poster the day after the announced their split with the recording company in 1977. They had been signed to them for just three months. Left to right: Steven Jones, Johnny Rotten, Paul Cook and Glen Matlock

Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. Vicious died of a heroin overdose in 1979 after he was arrested on suspicion of murdering Nancy

Manager Malcolm McLaren, who ran a fetish clothing shop with Vivienne Westwood in the 70s called SEX, led them through many controversies until Johnny Rotten announced the band’s split in 1978. 

The remaining three members carried on recording songs with McLaren for his documentary on the band, called The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle. 

Sid Vicious died of a heroin overdose in 1979 after he was arrested on suspicion of murdering his girlfriend Nancy Spungen.

Sex Pistols singles like God Save the Queen and Anarchy in the UK caused a nationwide uproar because they encouraged the public to question the country and its Government. 

In 2006 all five members were archived in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

John Lydon now fronts another punk rock band, Public Image Ltd., and has done since 2009.

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