15 Upcoming Music Biopics We Can't Wait to Watch (2022)
The business of biopics is booming. It seems like every day, there's more news of a beloved entertainer, respected historical figure, or long-forgotten criminal that's getting a movie made about their life story. As soon as a film based on a person's life is announced, we eagerly await more news of which famous actor will play them.
After the success of films like Bohemian Rhapsody , Rocketman , Respect , and Judy , music biopics in particular have been all the rage. Not only are they able to tell compelling stories, but audiences are entertained thanks to the musician's catalogue of songs on full display. And if you're an artist who's still living, having a biopic made about your early career is a pretty great marketing tool!
Live365 is committed to delivering you the hottest music news around. As such, we've been keeping our eyes on the development of several music biopics slated for release sometime in the next few years. Today, we'd like to share with you some of the biopics that intrigue us the most, and make us very excited to watch an artist's life story in movie theaters. Without further ado, here are 15 upcoming music biopics you need to know about!
1. Bob Marley
In very recent news, it was announced that Kingsley Ben-Adir ( Peaky Blinders, The OA, One Night in Miami ) would take on the role of Bob Marley in a Paramount Pictures biopic about the reggae legend's life. King Richard's Reinaldo Marcus Green is set to direct, Zach Baylin is assisting with the script, and members of the Marley family are producing the project.
It's about time a film about Bob Marley's life was made! The story will be covering an intense period in the Rastafarian man's life: his later years making Exodus in London just after a failed assassination attempt in Jamaica. We're hoping to sing along to songs like "Buffalo Soldier," "Could You Be Loved," and "Jammin'." We already know every little thing is gonna be alright with this biopic!
Back in May 2021, Cher revealed on Twitter a biopic about her life was in the works. Eric Roth, whose screenplays include Forrest Gump and A Star Is Born , will write the script while Judy Craymer and Gary Goetzman, whose credits include both Mamma Mia! films, will produce.
“Gary and I are thrilled to be working with Cher again and this time bringing her empowering and true-life odyssey to the big screen,” Craymer said in a press release. “One cannot help but be drawn to and inspired by Cher’s larger than life talent, fortitude, unique wit, warmth and vision. Her unparalleled success in music, film and TV has inspired generations. We could not be happier to tell her story to cinema audiences.”
Not much is known about the picture, save for the fact Universal Pictures will distribute the film and Deadline noted it “will not be a break-into-song musical like Mamma Mia! and probably more likely a closer cousin to a biopic like Bohemian Rhapsody .” Not only are we excited to listen to Cher music in a movie theater, we also can't wait to see the lead actress in Cher's iconic costumes!
3. "Weird Al" Yankovic
Just like the artist himself, the "Weird Al" Yankovic biopic is expected to be kooky, unconventional, and absolutely hilarious. Yankovic is writing and producing Weird: The "Weird Al" Yankovic Story while Eric Appel will direct with Daniel Radcliffe playing Yankovic. It's all being made as an original movie for the up-and-coming Roku Channel.
Due to the creators' wacky press statements and Appel's previous Yankovic biopic parody for Funny or Die, we theorize this historical film is one that won't take itself too seriously. In the spirit of "Weird Al," we're hoping this movie parodies the tropes present within current biopics and tackles the oversaturated genre in a funny new way.
4. The Bee Gees
Following the success of the HBO documentary The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart , a full-fledged biopic on the Bee Gees has begun. The film will tell the story of brothers Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb and their ascent to becoming one of the most recognizable acts of the 1970s.
So far, Kenneth Branagh is tied to the director's chair and Bradley Cooper will play Barry Gibb. After seeing Cooper in Paul Thomas Anderson's Licorice Pizza , we know he'll fit right in with a 70s aesthetic! In fact, some news outlets claimed he looked like the spitting image of Gibb while playing hairdresser Jon Peters in the Oscar-nominated feature.
5. Leonard Bernstein
Playing Barry Gibb isn't the only biopic role Cooper has in store. He'll also be playing American composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein in an upcoming Netflix film titled Maestro .
The feature is set to start shooting this May, with Carey Mulligan acting as Bernstein's wife, Felicia Montealegre. Cooper wrote the script with Josh Singer, who shared the Best Original Screenplay Oscar with Tom McCarthy for Spotlight . Cooper is producing alongside Fred Berner, Amy Durning, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Steven Spielberg, and Martin Scorsese.
Cooper will even sit in the director's chair, too: Spielberg was originally set to direct the movie, but Cooper convinced him to let go of the role. In an Actors on Actors interview, he revealed he asked Spielberg, "I always felt like I could play a conductor, but may I research the material and see if I can write it and direct it? Would you let me do that?" After watching Cooper's fantastic directorial debut A Star Is Born , we're sure Spielberg was eager to let him have the responsibility.
6. Elvis Presley
The King of Rock 'n' Roll will soon be the King of the Box Office. Famed director Baz Luhrmann ( Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet, The Great Gatsby ) is helming a biopic on Elvis Presley , with young star Austin Butler in the lead role. Tom Hanks will play Elvis’ longtime manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
Elvis will chronicle Presley's rise from humble beginnings to one of the biggest stars in music history. The movie is due for release on June 24, 2022 via Warner Bros. Pictures.
7. Michael Jackson
Not only is the King of Rock 'n' Roll getting the biopic treatment, so is the King of Pop.
Lionsgate will distribute a new Michael Jackson biopic produced by Bohemian Rhapsody’s Graham King. The film is also being made with the cooperation of the Michael Jackson Estate - which may impact how it deals with the multiple allegations of child sexual abuse that were brought against Jackson during the course of his career and after his 2009 death. Will it shy away from the controversy, or be unafraid to dive deeper into it?
Titled Michael , a screenplay is being written by three-time Oscar nominee John Logan. King and Logan previously collaborated on Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator .
8. Boy George
Back in April 2021, Boy George announced his biopic Karma Chameleon was set to start shooting across London and Bulgaria in the summertime. Additionally, a casting call went underway to look for the actor who would play George.
While we're not sure of the film's current status, we do know several details about the biopic. It will chronicle George's Culture Club success in the 80s while unflinchingly showing his struggles with substance abuse. Additionally, Danny Mays ( 1917 , Line of Duty ) will play George's father, and Sacha Gervasi is set to direct. There are even rumors of Keanu Reeves popping up! (Although, we think that might just be a joke perpetuated by George.)
9. Louis Armstrong
Director Sacha Jenkins will tell Louis Armstrong's story with the upcoming biopic Black & Blues: The Colorful Ballad of Louis Armstrong . The film will be released via Apple TV+ and comedian Tracy Morgan will play the famous trumpeter.
The biopic is actually self-financed by Morgan and has been a passion project of his for awhile. We're sure he'll nail it!
10. Whitney Houston
Being one of the best-selling artists of all time, it's inevitable a Whitney Houston biopic is getting made. Titled I Wanna Dance with Somebody after her famous 1987 hit, the movie is set for a Christmas 2022 release.
Sony is distributing the film while British actress Naomie Ackie ( Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker, The End of the F---ing World ) will play the iconic singer. "We spent the better part of the last year in an exhaustive search for an actress who could embody Whitney Houston," director Stella Meghie said, per The Hollywood Reporter . "Naomi Ackie impressed us at every stage of the process. I was moved by her ability to capture the stage presence of a global icon while bringing humanity to her interior life."
Actor Ashton Sanders will play Bobby Brown, while Nafessa Williams, Clarke Peters, and Tamara Tunie will also play roles in the flick.
11. Bob Dylan
If you're part of the Timothée Chalamet fan club, you've definitely heard about the Bob Dylan biopic he's spent months preparing for. Going Electric will star Chalamet as the iconic 60s artist with direction by James Mangold.
As NME reported back in October, the film was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic and struggles with finding period-specific costumes and locations. However, cinematographer Phedon Papamichael has said the film is "not dead yet." We're hoping it will get made soon, since Chalamet has put a lot of hard work into getting ready for the character. Not only has he been learning guitar, but the actor rented out an Airbnb in Woodstock, NY and had a meeting with Joel Coen (director of Inside Llewyn Davis ) just to get into the mindset of Dylan.
Will Chalamet's performance rival that of Cate Blanchett's in I'm Not There ? That's what we're eager to see.
12. Amy Winehouse
The public will never stop loving Amy Winehouse. The British singer-songwriter perished way too soon, and it's fair to say we miss her expressive vocals and lovable sense of humor. That's why we're so happy to see a biopic being made about her short-yet-spectacular career.
The biopic was announced back in September 2021. According to The Hollywood Reporter , Halcyon Studios will produce the biopic after it optioned Daphne Barak’s 2010 book, Saving Amy . While no casting news has been announced yet (and mixed messaging has been reported about Mitch Winehouse's approval of the movie), we do know the film will take place during the final years of Winehouse's life.
13. Ronnie Spector
Many have learned about Ronnie Spector's life due to The Ronettes singer's recent death . As soon as she passed away, plans for a Ronnie Spector biopic were made more public. Production company A24 ( Moonlight, Lady Bird, Hereditary ) has secured Spector's life rights for the film, as well as the rights to the musician's autobiography, Be My Baby . Pulitzer-winning playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury is in consideration to write the script.
And who will be playing Spector? None other than Emmy Award-winning actress Zendaya! Spector personally selected the Euphoria actress for the role before her death. We think it's a perfect casting. Zendaya's got the singing/dancing skills and fashionista status that playing Spector would require!
During an appearance on SiriusXM in November 2020, Ann Wilson revealed a biopic about Heart was in the works.
"I saw the first draft of the script," the singer admitted. "It's really cool." Carrie Brownstein from Sleater-Kinney, who also co-created and starred in IFC's Portlandia , will write and direct the film. Additionally, Lynda Obst of Sleepless in Seattle and How to Lose a Guy In 10 Days is producing. The movie is expected to focus on Ann and her sister Nancy, their childhood, early years as aspiring musicians, and eventual success with their chart-topping rock band.
While casting hasn't been announced yet and apparently COVID-19 has delayed the production, we do know the film will draw heavily from Kicking and Dreaming : the book Ann and Nancy wrote together chronicling their rise to fame and ensuing success.
15. John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Last on our list, we're mentioning the project we've all been waiting for: a biopic chronicling John Lennon and Yoko Ono's famous love story.
All we know so far is that acclaimed director Jean-Marc Vallée is attached. We have so many questions. Who will play John and Yoko? Will the other members of the Beatles be cast? Will the film cover John's assassination by The Dakota? Will we get to hear an actress do Ono's iconic caterwauling? Until the movie gets made, we guess we'll bide our time by watching Lennon and Ono together in Peter Jackson's Get Back .
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Article Image: Bob Dylan singing and playing guitar in 1978, Whitney Houston singing in 1991, Elvis Presley promoting the film "Jailhouse Rock" in 1957. ( Chris Hakkens , PH2 Mark Kettenhofen and The Library of Congress [ CC BY-SA 2.0 and Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons.)
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From Elvis to Madonna, Here Are All the Musical Biopics in the Works
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Movie musical biopics are a beloved Hollywood tradition and one that — unlike erotic thrillers — shows no signs of slowing down.
Over the years we’ve seen Sissy Spacek win an Oscar as Loretta Lynn in “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” Jessica Lange earn a nomination as Patsy Cline in “Sweet Dreams,” and Reese Witherspoon win Best Supporting Actress as June Carter Cash in “Walk the Line.” And that’s just the country music biopics.
Portraying a musical icon is just the next step in an evolving way to showcase triple-threat talent. Jamie Foxx took home the Best Actor Oscar for his transformation into Ray Charles for the 2004 film “Ray.” Joaquin Phoenix showed a new facet to his talent as Johnny Cash in “Walk the Line.” Marion Cotillard burst onto the international scene (and won a Best Actress Oscar) as Edith Piaf in “La Vie En Rose,” and more recently Rami Malek and Taron Egerton picked up accolades and awards as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury and Elton John, respectively.
Even Hulu Original series “Pam & Tommy” revitalized the mythology of Mötley Crüe frontman Tommy Lee for a limited series about the infamous leaked sex tape with his wife, “Baywatch” icon Pamela Anderson. Austin Butler stunned as Elvis Presley for Baz Luhrmann ‘s “Elvis” and Valérie Lemercier transformed into a fictionalize Celine Dion for an unofficial ode to the Grammy winner. But that’s not the only life story 2022 has in store for audiences. Keep track of all the announced films and series based on real-life musicians below.
Naomi Ackie Is Whitney Houston for “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”
BAFTA award winner Naomi Ackie stars as history-making singer Whitney Houston for “ I Wanna Dance With Somebody ,” written by Oscar-nominated “Bohemian Rhapsody” scribe Anthony McCarten and directed by Kasi Lemmons (“Eve’s Bayou,” “Harriet”). The film also stars Stanley Tucci as Clive Davis, Ashton Sanders as Bobby Brown, and Tamara Tunie as Houston’s mother. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” opens in theaters December 21.
Bradley Cooper Is Leonard Bernstein for “Maestro”
“A Star Is Born” Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper is tapping back into his musical side to co-write, direct, and star in the Leonard Bernstein biopic “Maestro.” Steven Spielberg was originally set to direct the film but handed the reins over to Cooper after watching “A Star Is Born.” Cooper revealed on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” that he spent “hundreds of hours” practicing how to be a conductor as a kid, and that Bernstein was a childhood hero of his. Carey Mulligan and Maya Hawke also star in the film, which is set to be released by Netflix. “Joker” producers Martin Scorsese and Todd Phillips, as well as Spielberg, are slated to produce the film .
Julia Garner Is Madonna
Madonna is directing her own life story for the big screen with a script co-written by Erin Cressida Wilson. The “Like a Virgin” icon reportedly has selected a group of actresses, including Oscar nominee Florence Pugh, “Inventing Anna” star Julia Garner, “Euphoria” scene-stealer Alexa Demie, “Mothering Sunday” breakout Odessa Young, and “Mayor of Kingstown” alum Emma Laird, to undergo a “grueling” audition process to play Madonna.
“Ozark” breakout Garner was ultimately offered the role of playing the Grammy winner herself after Garner endured “up to 11-hour-a-day choreography sessions” with Madonna’s personal choreographer, followed by choreography sessions with Madonna. Callbacks consisted of readings with Madonna, plus singing auditions. Garner was an early frontrunner, with Madonna following her on social media last year. “Uncut Gems” trendsetter Julia Fox is also rumored to be playing Madonna’s real-life pal, “Casino” and “Younger” star Debi Mazar.
Daniel Radcliffe Is Weird Al for “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story”
“Harry Potter” alum Daniel Radcliffe turned “White and Nerdy” to become five-time Grammy winner “Weird Al” Yankovic for the Roku Channel’s “ Weird: The Al Yankovic Story .” Radcliffe donned a curly-haired mullet, bright tropical print tee, and, of course, a mustache to play the comedy musician.
“Wearing the Hawaiian shirt is a huge responsibility that I don’t take lightly,” Radcliffe said about taking on the role. “I’m honored to finally share with the world the absolutely 100-percent unassailably true story of Weird Al’s depraved and scandalous life.”
Produced by Funny or Die and Tango, “Weird” began filming in February 2022 with a script by Yankovic and Eric Appel, who also directs and executive produces.
The official description for the film promises that the biopic “ holds nothing back , exploring every facet of Yankovic’s life, from his meteoric rise to fame with early hits like ‘Eat It’ and ‘Like a Surgeon’ to his torrid celebrity love affairs and famously depraved lifestyle.”
Jonah Hill Is Jerry Garcia in Martin Scorsese’s Grateful Dead Film
Martin Scorsese will direct and produce an untitled Grateful Dead biopic for Apple TV+, with “Wolf of Wall Street” star Jonah Hill playing the late band frontman Jerry Garcia. Hill will also produce the film through his Strong Baby banner.
“American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson” screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski will pen the script. The Dead’s Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann will also executive produce along with Garcia’s daughter Trixie Garcia, Eric Eisner, and Bernie Cahill.
The Bay Area band rose to fame in the 1960s, and Garcia died of a heart attack in a residential drug-treatment facility at the age of 53 in 1995. Scorsese previously directed Dead doc “Long Strange Trip” in 2017.
Kristin Chenoweth May Play Dolly Parton in an Untitled Biopic
The “9 to 5” Grammy winner is reportedly in talks to turn her 66-plus year career into a musical feature film.
“I do intend someday to be on Broadway, but I’m thinking now that I might do my life story as a feature,” Dolly Parton explained on Mr. Nashville Talks . “Maybe possibly even a musical feature, so we’re in talks about that.”
The actress-singer told Southern Living in 2021 that she would ideally have “a little Dolly and a middle Dolly and then the older one,” with three different actresses playing her at different stages of her life and career. And Kristin Chenoweth is at the top of Parton’s list: “She’s just absolutely fantastic,” Parton added.
She continued that Jim Carrey would be a “great” Porter Wagoner, citing the inclusion of her one-time musical partner. That is, if Carrey doesn’t retire from acting before starting production on the biopic.
Billy Joel’s Life Will Be at the Center of “Piano Man”…Without His Cooperation (or Music?)
Variety reported that a Billy Joel biopic titled “Piano Man” is in the works at Michael Jai White’s Jaigantic Studios. However, Joel is not involved in the project and no rights to his music, name, likeness, or life story will be granted.
So what’s a biopic without the bio? Writer-director Adam Ripp is basing the feature film on Joel’s early years, especially being discovered by Irwin Mazur, who managed Joel’s teenage band The Hassles. The film will also include Joel’s breakout performance in 1972, which drew the attention of producer Clive Davis.
Jaigantic Studios acquired the life rights to Mazur, who was Joel’s music rep from 1970 to 1972. Mazur’s father owned the Long Island club where Joel got his start with The Hassles in 1966. The music needs for the film are “yet to be determined,” per the producers, including Mazur.
Writer-director Ripp’s father, Artie Ripp, also signed Joel to his first record deal as a solo artist and produced Joel’s debut album, “Cold Spring Harbor.”
Eddie Murphy Is George Clinton for Amazon Prime Video Biopic
Eddie Murphy is in early talks to play Godfather of Funk George Clinton. Producer and star Murphy is securing rights with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner before moving forward with the project as part of a three-picture deal with Amazon Prime Video.
The film, if greenlit, will tell the story of Clinton’s North Carolina upbringing in the 1940s to forming bands Parliament and Funkadelic. Murphy also reunites with “Dolemite Is My Name” and “Coming 2 America” producer John Davis for the biopic.
Kingsley Ben-Adir Is Bob Marley for Untitled Paramount Biopic
“One Night in Miami” star Kingsley Ben-Adir is taking on another historical figure by playing Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley. “King Richard” director Reinaldo Marcus Green is set to direct the biopic for Paramount, with “King Richard” writer Zach Baylin slate to pen the script.
Ziggy Marley, Rita Marley, and Cedella Marley will produce on behalf of Tuff Gong. Robert Teitel will also produce the feature that will focus on the life and career of the pioneering musician who died of cancer at age 36 in 1981.
J.J. Abrams Is Producing a U2 Netflix Series
J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot Productions company are set to develop a scripted series about U2 for Netflix. The yet-untitled series will be written by “Bohemian Rhapsody” scribe Anthony McCarten.
Sources noted that U2 is expected to be involved and sanction the project, which also hails from Warner Bros. Television.
John Carney Will Direct Bee Gees Biopic for Paramount
Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb behind The Bee Gees are hitting the big screen in a biopic directed by “Once” and “Sing Street” musical director John Carney. The untitled Bee Gees film for Paramount Pictures will be written by John Logan. “Belfast” Oscar winner Kenneth Branagh was originally slated to direct but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. Carney was previously behind Amazon Studios’ series “Modern Love,” based on the New York Times column of the same name.
While there is no casting news yet, Barry Gibb is “very involved” in the narrative feature and will serve as an executive producer, as Deadline reported.
Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon Are George Jones and Tammy Wynette for “George and Tammy”
Upcoming limited series “ George and Tammy ” stars Oscar winner Jessica Chastain in another titular Tammy role as country musician Tammy Wynette, alongside husband George Jones, played by Michael Shannon. “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” writer Abe Sylvia is behind the limited series, based on the book “The Three of Us: Growing Up with Tammy and George” written by the couple’s daughter, Georgette Jones. Kelly McCormack, Katy Mixon, and Steve Zahn also star.
Chastain plays “the first lady of country music” Wynette, who wrote “Stand By Your Man,” with Shannon playing fellow country superstar Jones. Zahn plays George Richey, a songwriter, producer, and mainstay of the Nashville country music community who married Wynette after she and Jones split up in 1975. Chastain, showrunner Sylvia, Josh Brolin, Andrew Lazar, Kelly Carmichael, and John Hillcoat will executive produce the series.
“George and Tammy” will premiere on Spectrum with a nine-month exclusive run before debuting on Paramount+.
Elijah Kelley Is Sammy Davis Jr. for Lee Daniels’ Untitled Hulu Series
“Hairspray” and “Star” scene-stealer Elijah Kelley is set to star as Sammy Davis Jr. for an eight-episode limited Hulu series helmed by Lee Daniels. The untitled series is based on Wil Haygood’s book, “In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis Jr.,” and is slated to chart Davis’ childhood stardom to Rat Packs days. Davis’ many controversies including his 1960 marriage to Swedish actress May Britt, his conversion to Judaism, relationship with the Kennedys, and his alcohol and drug dependencies will be showcased in the series.
“Empire” co-creator Daniels will write the series along with frequent collaborator Thomas Westfall; both will serve as executive producers. Actor Kelley is set to produce along with author Haygood.
Sam Taylor-Johnson Will Direct Amy Winehouse Biopic, “Back to Black”
Over a decade since Grammy winner Amy Winehouse died at age 27, “Fifty Shades of Grey” director Sam Taylor-Johnson is set to helm a biopic of the late British icon. Currently titled “Back to Black,” the film will focus on Winehouse’s upbringing and rise to fame before her fatal drug overdose in 2011. The Studiocanal film is being made with full support of the Winehouse estate. No casting has been announced.
Casey Affleck and Walton Goggins Will Be Donnie and Joe Emerson
Casey Affleck, who also stars in Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster “ Oppenheimer ,” is set to play one half of musical duo Donnie and Joe Emerson alongside “The Hateful Eight” scene-stealer Walton Goggins. The film is titled “Dreamin’ Wild” and comes from Beach Boys biopic “Love and Mercy” director Bill Pohlad.
Zooey Deschanel, Chris Messina, and Beau Bridges also star.
Jacob Elordi and Cailee Spaeny Are Elvis and Priscilla Presley
“Euphoria” star Jacob Elordi and “Mare of Easttown” breakout Cailee Spaeny are set to play Elvis and Priscilla Presley in Sofia Coppola’s upcoming film, “Priscilla.” Based on Priscilla’s 1985 memoir “Elvis and Me,” the film charts the couple’s love story and eventual divorce.
Elordi and former real-life girlfriend Kaia Gerber previously dressed up as Elvis and Priscilla Presley for Halloween in 2020. Gerber, the daughter of fashion supermodel Cindy Crawford, is currently linked to “Elvis” actor Austin Butler.
Sublime Biopic in the Works From “Hunger Games” and “Ozark” Teams
Long Beach ska band Sublime, whose songs “Santeria” and “Doin’ Time” defined a generation, will now be at the center of a Sony Pictures biopic. “The Hunger Games” director Francis Lawrence will helm the feature, with “Ozark” screenwriter Chris Mundy penning the script. Sublime was comprised of frontman Bradley Nowell, bassist Eric Wilson, and drummer Bud Gaugh. Nowell’s died in 1996; the band later began touring with Rome. Wilson, Gaugh, and Nowell’s widow Troy Nowell and son Jake Nowell are all collaborating with the upcoming feature.
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Get in tune with these 14 upcoming music biopics
Sydney Bucksbaum is a writer at Entertainment Weekly covering all things pop culture – but TV is her one true love. She currently lives in Los Angeles but grew up in Chicago so please don't make fun of her accent when it slips out.
Melody masters reimagined on the big screen
Will these music biopics hit the right note or turn out tone-deaf? See our list of 14 upcoming movies that chronicle the iconic lives of famous musicians, and who's set to star in them.
From A Star Is Born to Leonard Bernstein, Bradley Cooper is staying in the music genre for his next big directorial effort. The multi-hyphenate will direct and star in a Leonard Bernstein biopic , Maestro, about the conductor and composer behind West Side Story , Peter Pan , and more. Cooper co-writes the Netflix film with Josh Singer ( Spotlight ), while producing with, among others, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese. Carey Mulligan is set to co-star as Felicia Montealegre, wife of the iconic composer.
Timothée Chalamet is expected to play Bob Dylan in an as-yet-untitled film from Searchlight Pictures . Directed by James Mangold , the film takes place in 1965, when the folk legend made a controversial shift to rock & roll and the electric guitar. However, in an interview with Collider , cinematographer Phedon Papamichael revealed production is on hold due to COVID-19.
Boy George is yet another musical icon to get the Hollywood treatment, with MGM producing the biopic and Sacha Gervasi ( Anvil: The Story of Anvil ) writing and directing. The as-yet-untitled project will follow the singer (born George Alan O'Dowd) from his early years in England growing up in a working-class Irish family through his rise up the pop charts as part of the group Culture Club in the 1980s. Sophie Turner has said she'd like the part , with Boy George admitting, "When I was 17, I would have loved to have been her."
Lucy Boynton is trading one music biopic for another. After appearing in Bohemian Rhapsody , the British actor is set to executive produce and star as singer Marianne Faithfull in Faithfull , directed by Ian Bonhôte. Set in mid-1960s London, the movie will chronicle the highs and lows of Faithfull's career after being discovered as a convent schoolgirl at 17, becoming a pop idol, her tumultuous romance with Mick Jagger that inspired some of the Rolling Stones' greatest songs, and being a homeless drug addict in Soho. "I am delighted that my story is finally being made with my dream team of Lucy, [producer] Julia [Taylor-Stanley] and Ian," Faithfull said.
It should come as no surprise that Michael Jackson is finally getting the biopic treatment . Graham King, who produced the Oscar-winning Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody , has acquired the rights to Jackson's music and is set to make a film based on the pop legend's life. Collaborating with King is screenwriter John Logan; the two previously worked together on Martin Scorsese's Howard Hughes biopic, The Aviator.
Graham King is a busy man—he's also developing a biopic about the Bee Gees along with Steven Spielberg . Once director John Carney will helm the currently untitled film, with a script by John Logan. The movie will likely follow the trio of brothers— Barry , Robin, and Maurice Gibb—and their journey from humble beginnings in 1958 to reaching global fame after working on the soundtrack for the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever , penning iconic tunes like "Stayin' Alive" and "More Than a Woman." Paramount and King purchased the life rights to the Gibb family estate, and thus will be able to use the group's biggest hits in the movie. Barry is the sole surviving member of the group, as Maurice and Robin died in 2003 and 2012.
Six-time Grammy nominee Tyrese Gibson is taking on the life of R&B icon Teddy Pendergrass in a biopic written by Little Marvin, with Donald De Line ( Ready Player One ), Lee Daniels ( Precious ), and Gibson producing. Pendergrass' widow, Joan Pendergrass, is also on board as an executive producer. "This is the role that I feel I was born to play," Gibson said. "Teddy Pendergrass embraced me and, before he passed, put the responsibility on my shoulders to tell his story."
John Lennon and Yoko Ono
An adaptation of John Lennon and Yoko Ono 's epic love story has been in the works for years. The script was written by Bohemian Rhapsody scribe Anthony McCarten, while Ono herself was attached to produce. Jean-Marc Vallée ( Dallas Buyers Club ) had been expected to direct and edit before his death in 2021. There has been no other news about the project, but we still hope it will come together some day.
Amy Winehouse 's family announced back in 2018 that the iconic singer was getting a big-screen biopic, with proceeds from the film reportedly benefiting the Amy Winehouse Foundation. The Winehouse family will serve as executive producers on the film, Back to Black , which has been written by Matt Greenhalgh and will be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson . "We now feel able to celebrate Amy's extraordinary life and talent," the singer's father, Mitch Winehouse, said. "We know through the Amy Winehouse Foundation that the true story of her illness can help so many others who might be experiencing similar issues."
Rapper Gucci Mane (real name: Radric Delantic Davis) is getting a biopic from Paramount Players and Imagine Entertainment, based on his memoir, The Autobiography of Gucci Mane . Imagine's Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins will join Mane and Todd Moskowitz in producing the film about the trap house artist who started his career by releasing mixtapes while in prison.
Bob Marley is expected to be played by Kingsley Ben-Adir ( One Night in Miami ) in a new biopic about the reggae music trailblazer. The Jamaican singer-songwriter died of cancer in 1981, but in his short life he changed the legacy of reggae forever. Reinaldo Marcus Green ( King Richard ) will direct the biopic with input from the musician's son, Ziggy Marley.
Who better to make a movie about Madonna 's life than Madonna herself? The iconic singer is set to direct a biopic about her life, having co-written the script with a collaboration from Oscar-winning Juno scribe Diablo Cody . The still-untitled Universal film is rumored to star Julia Garner in the lead role and will also be produced by Madonna and two-time Academy Award nominee Amy Pascal ( Little Women ). The film is expected to follow the entertainer's rise to prominence as the culture-shaping musician, actress, director, author, and entrepreneur she is today. Sara Zambreno and Madonna's longtime manager, Guy Oseary, are on board as executive producers as well.
Lemmy, a.k.a. Ian Fraser Kilmister, the lead singer of Motörhead who passed away in 2015 , is getting a biopic from someone who knew him well—Greg Olliver. The filmmaker spent several years with the band for their 2010 documentary, also titled Lemmy . The movie will follow Kilmister's early life in England, his time as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, and the five years he spent with rock band Hawkwind before he went on to create Motörhead, forever changing the future of rock music. Motörhead's manager Todd Singerman and Steffan Chirazi will serve as executive producers for a screenplay written by Medeni Griffiths along with Olliver.
What's better than a biopic about an iconic female-led rock band? A biopic about an iconic female-led rock band written and directed by another iconic female rock star. Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein is set to write and direct a biopic on the rock band Heart for Amazon Studios. It was Heart guitarist Ann Wilson herself who revealed on SiriusXM's Volume West that "there's [a film] in the works" about her band, best known for late '70s and early '80s hits like "Crazy on You" and "Barracuda." Wilson added that she "saw the first draft of the script, it's really cool… The script started in childhood and ended up in the '90s." Casting is currently underway for the roles of Wilson and her sister, Nancy Wilson.
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10 Upcoming Music Biopics to Watch
Over the years, we’ve seen many biopics that inspire us and tell us life-changing stories of people. We learn about their personal and professional lives, their struggles, and their achievements. These biopics have also found much success and bagged many awards. Some of these include music biopics like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ which won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture and Rami Malek won the Oscar for Best Actor for playing Freddie Mercury in the film. Recent popular music biopics include Baz Luhrmann’s ‘ELVIS’ and ‘Rocketman,’ which follows the life of the singer Elton John, helmed by Dexter Fletcher.
From ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ to ‘Back To Black,’ we look at ten upcoming music biopics you need to watch –
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
Having first premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, ‘Wierd: The Al Yankovic Story’ is set to launch on The Roku Channel this November. ‘Harry Potter’ star Daniel Radcliffe was recruited to play “Weird Al” Yankovic in this satirical biopic helmed by Eric Appel (‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, ‘New Girl’). The Grammy-award-winning Yankovic rose to fame with his parody pop songs and chose Radcliffe himself to play him in the movie.
Alfred Matthew Yankovic, better known as “Weird Al,” wrote and produced the film alongside Appel. The film also stars Evan Rachel Wood (‘Westworld’) as Madonna, Emmy award winner Quinta Brunson (‘Abbott Elementary’) as Oprah Winfrey, Jack Black (‘School of Rock’) as Wolfman Jack, Rainn Wilson (‘The Office’) as Dr. Demento, Julianne Nicholson (‘Mare of Easttown’) as Mary Yankovic, Toby Huss (‘Dickinson’) as Nick Yankovic, James Preston Rogers as Hulk Hogan, and Spencer Treat Clark (‘Gladiator’) as Steve Jay, among others.
Last year, Cher took to Twitter to announce that a biopic about her life was in the works at Universal Pictures. She has sold over 100 records in her career and has even won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for starring in the 1988 film ‘Moonstruck.’ Eric Roth (‘Dune’), a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award winner for ‘Forrest Gump’, is writing the screenplay for the biopic.
Ok Universal is Doing Biopic With My Friends JUDY CRAYMER,GARY GOETZMAN PRODUCING. THEYY PRODUCED BOTH MAMMA MIA’S,& MY DEAR DEAR Friend 4 YRS, & OSCAR WINNER..ERIC ROTH IS GOING 2 WRITE IT???? FORREST GUMP A STAR IS BORN SUSPECT TO NAME A FEW OF IS FILMS — Cher (@cher) May 19, 2021
He has six Oscar nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay under his belt. Gary Goetzman, co-founder of the production company Playtone, and Judy Craymer, who produced ‘Mamma Mia!’ and ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,’ will be producing the untitled biopic with Cher.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody
This biopic follows the life of one of the greatest vocalists of our generation, Whitney Houston, who also became one of the best-selling artists of all time. Some of her hits include ‘I Will Always Love You,’ ‘Higher Love,’ and ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody,’ which was chosen as the title for Whitney’s upcoming biopic. She also starred in the 1992 film ‘The Bodyguard’ and took on the role of the Fairy Godmother in ‘Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.’ Whitney has production credits on the Disney movies ‘The Princess Diaries’ and ‘The Cheetah Girls.’
The film stars Naomie Ackie (‘The End of the F***ing World’) as Whitney Houston, Stanley Tucci (‘The Devil Wears Prada’) as Clive Davis, Ashton Sanders (‘Moonlight’), Nefessa Williams (‘Black Lightning’) as Robyn Crawford, Bria Danielle Singleton as Bobbi Kristina, Tamara Tunie (‘The Devil’s Advocate’) as Cissy Houston, and Clarke Peters (‘The Wire’), among others. ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ is helmed by Kasi Lemmons (‘Harriet’). The script for the film has been penned by the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ screenwriter, Anthony McCarten. This film comes to theaters on December 21, 2022.
Elvis and Priscilla Presley
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Sofia Coppola, the winner of the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award for the 2003 film ‘Lost in Translation’, is writing and will direct a forthcoming biopic about Elvis and Priscilla Presley based on Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir ‘Elvis and Me’. Unlike Baz Luhrmann’s 2022 film ‘ELVIS,’ Coppola’s upcoming film will focus on Priscilla and her relationship with Elvis. Having created an account on Instagram this month, Coppola shared her first post – a photo of the New York Times Bestseller ‘Elvis and Me’ with the caption: “Back to work! Excited to be telling Priscilla’s story.”
Jacob Elordi (‘Euphoria’) and Cailee Spaeny are set to star as Elvis and Priscilla Presley, respectively. The release date for the film is yet to be announced.
An upcoming biopic following the life and career of Bob Marley will star Kingsley Ben-Adir (‘One Night in Miami’) as the singer, considered one of the pioneers of reggae. Reinaldo Marcus Green (‘King Richard’, ‘Monsters and Men’) will helm the untitled biopic. According to Deadline, the film will be released on January 12, 2024. Robert Teitel will have a production script and Bob Marley’s family members – Ziggy Marley, Rita Marley, and Cedella Marley – will also produce on behalf of Tuff Gong.
“Our film starts in ’76 and really it’s about the making of Exodus. So that’s primarily the window that we’re going to focus on, with obviously, some flashes to his early life,” director Reinaldo Marcus Green said to Collider.
Superstar Madonna is helming a biopic about herself. She is co-writing it with Erin Cressida Wilson (‘Chloe’, ‘The Girl on the Train’) and Diablo Cody (‘Jennifer’s Body’, ‘Juno’), who has completed her work on the biopic. There were rumors that many actors had auditioned to play Madonna in the film, including ‘Euphoria’ stars Sydney Sweeney, Barbie Ferreira, and Alexa Demie. Florence Pugh (‘Midsommar’, ‘Don’t Worry Darling’) was also among those looking to tell Madonna’s story on the big screen by playing the ‘Material Girl’ singer in the film.
All these actors had to be involved in choreography and singing auditions to bag Madonna’s role. Madonna also attended some of these auditions. The title and release date of the biopic is yet to be announced by Universal Pictures but the ‘Inventing Anna’ star Julia Garner, who also played Ruth Langmore in ‘Ozark’, has reportedly been offered the role of Madonna, Variety reports . Garner has three Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series Emmy awards under her belt.
Tyrese Gibson (‘2 Fast 2 Furious’) is producing and starring as Teddy Pendergrass in a biopic about the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter with Warner Bros. Lee Daniels (‘Empire’), Donald De Line, and Teddy Pendergrass’ widow Joan Pendergrass are executive producers. Little Marvin (‘Them’) is penning the screenplay for Teddy’s forthcoming biopic.
“I am honored to take this journey… this is the role that I feel I was born to play,” Gibson said as per Variety. “Teddy Pendergrass embraced me and before he passed put the responsibility on my shoulders to tell his story.”
“Being here in this time and in this space and moment with Lee Daniels, Donald De Line, Little Marvin, and Warner Bros. is an answered prayer. Teddy, I just hope we make you, your wife, and family proud… Here we go!!” he added .
A biopic produced by Studiocanal about the English ‘Rehab’ singer Amy Winehouse is in the works. Sam Taylor-Johnson (‘Nowhere Boy’, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’) is set to direct the film. They hope to offer the role of Winehouse to a newcomer rather than a pop star.
The biopic titled ‘Back to Black’ is written by Matt Greenhalgh (‘Nowhere Boy’). Debra Hayward (‘Bridget Jone’s Baby’) and Tracey Seaward (‘Philomena’) are also producing Amy Winehouse’s forthcoming biopic. Although details about the film are yet to be known, sources have revealed to Variety that the ‘Industry’ star Marisa Abela is in discussions to play the role of the ‘Back to Black’ hitmaker, but it hasn’t been confirmed yet.
A Billy Joel biopic following the ‘Uptown Girl’ singer’s early life since being discovered by Irwin Mazur to capture the attention of music executive and producer Clive Davis is in the works. The project has been greenlit by Michael Jai White’s Jaigantic Studios. A rep for the singer told Rolling Stones, “Billy Joel is not involved with this film project.”
According to Variety, “no rights in music, name/likeness or life story will be granted ” as per a rep for the Grammy-award-winning star. The music for Billy Joel’s forthcoming biopic ‘Piano Man’ is “yet to be determined .”
Adam Ripp will be writing and directing the film. “What a dream come true! These are the real-life events I witnessed first-hand that shaped Billy from a keyboard player in the local Long Island band, The Hassles, into the iconic musician, singer-songwriter, and entertainer who thrills audiences around the world,” Irwin Mazur said , according to Variety.
John Carrey is helming the forthcoming Bee Gees biopic for Paramount Pictures. John Logan (‘They/Them’, ‘Aviator’) is penning the script, while Barry Gibb will be the executive producer of the film. Bee Gees, formed in 1958 consisting of Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb, have sold over 220 million records worldwide. The ‘Stayin’ Alive’ hitmakers have won five Grammy awards and are one of the best-selling groups in the world. The untitled Bee Gees biopic will be produced by SISTER, GK Films (‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘World War Z’), and Amblin Entertainment.
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Upcoming Rock Biopics: Ozzy, Kiss and Others Headed for Hollywood
If there’s one thing Hollywood loves more than being original, it’s copying someone else’s idea.
Case in point: The rock biopic floodgates have officially been opened following the huge successes of Bohemian Rhapsody , Rocketman and The Dirt .
As movie studios have quickly become aware, there are big bucks to be made in the real-life stories of music’s biggest stars. Artists who have made some of music’s most timeless tracks often have fascinating backstories, and now production companies are spending millions of dollars to secure life story rights, recruiting directors and casting famous faces.
Some of the choices seem obvious. Ozzy Osbourne , for example, is a captivating character who has survived more career twists and turns than an amusement park roller coaster. He was always an obvious choice for a biopic, so it’s no surprise that one is currently in preproduction.
Other acts may seem like a more uncomfortable fit for the silver screen. For instance, the recent Bee Gees documentary told audiences so much about the band , we have to wonder what new ground a reported biopic would possibly cover.
Marianne Faithfull ’s life has unquestionably been dramatic, but is she really a big enough star to warrant a film of her own? We'd be front-and-center for a Replacements biopic when it comes out, but their story – much like their music – seems a little too far removed from the mainstream to expect box office success.
There are, of course, added hurdles to bringing a real-life story to the big screen. If all of the band’s members aren’t on board, it can result in lawsuits (we’re looking at you, Sex Pistols ).
Still, as fans we remain excited, and a little bit curious, about how these tales will unfold. Here’s a roundup of artists who are poised to get their own films.
Rock Stars Whose Lives Are Being Turned Into Movies
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10 Most Anticipated Music Biopics, From Elvis To Bob Dylan
Your favorite artists are coming to the screen!
It’s no secret that Hollywood loves a biopic. Whether it’s the untold lives of lesser-known historical personalities like Alan Turing ( The Imitation Game ) or the more recent stories borne from within their own ranks ( Being The Ricardos ) , Hollywood has long bestowed the biopic treatment onto a range of significant figures, with the small screen following suit with recent titles like Pam & Tommy and The Dropout .
RELATED: From ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ to ‘Spencer’: What Separates the Good Biopic Dramas From the Bad?
While biographical films are popular across the board, it’s the musicians of yesteryear that tend to steal the spotlight, spearheaded by 2018’s uber successful Freddie Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody . Drawn to the glamour of their subjects and their surprisingly universal origin stories, audiences seemingly can’t get enough of revisiting the music industry’s most iconic figures, as evident by this starry batch of the most anticipated upcoming music biopics.
Elvis Presley, Elvis (Due June 24)
No musical biopic has had quite the level of buzz as Baz Luhrmann ’s Elvis , which is scheduled for release in June and stars Carrie Diaries alum Austin Butler in the titular role. Set to chronicle the King of Rock’s meteoric rise to superstardom in the 1950s amidst the backdrop of a tenuous relationship with his manager, the long-over Elvis will also star Oscar-winner Tom Hanks .
RELATED: 'Elvis': Trailer, Release Date, Cast, and Everything We Know So Far About the King's Biopic
Given that Elvis marks Lurhman’s first film since 2013’s The Great Gatsby , and the fact that it’ll debut at Cannes Film Festival , the hearthrobb’s biopic already has all the makings of an Academy darling. Until its release, audiences have only the film’s trailer and the promise of Presely’s 50s tunes to satiate their rock ‘n’ roll urges.
"Weird Al" Yankovic, Weird: The Weird Al Yankovic Story (Due TBA)
While a specific release date for the “Weird Al” Yankovic biopic has yet to be announced, we do know that filming has wrapped on the Funny or Die production, and that Daniel Radcliffe will lead a cast that also includes Evan Rachel Wood as Madonna .
The film, which was co-written by the parody musician himself, will go the meta route in spoofing previous music biopics (much like the ones on this list), while documenting the “White And Nerdy” singer’s early life and rumored affairs with Hollywood A-Listers.
Michael Jackson, Michael (Due TBA)
Distributed by Lionsgate and produced by Bohemian Rhapsody ’s Graham King , the freshly announced Michael will detail the King of Pop’s complicated career and bring to life some of his most iconic tracks. Given the film’s co-production by Jackson’s estate, it’s not yet known whether Michael will explore the various assault accusations leveled against the pop-star prior to his 2009 death and left in the wake of 2019’s Leaving Neverland . In any case, viewers could expect a timeline similar to that of the Broadway show MJ, which dealt with Jackson’s life during his 1992 Dangerous World Tour.
The Bee Gees, Untitled (Due TBA)
While it still remains untitled, there’s been some progress in the development of a biopic documenting the band of brothers The Bee Gees. Actor/Director Kenneth Branagh , who recently scored a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for his work on Belfast , has been tapped to helm the biopic, with Upstart Crow ’s Ben Elton leading the writer’s room.
RELATED: ‘Belfast’ Review: Kenneth Branagh Crafts a Memoir Devoid of Intimacy
The film’s cast has not been announced, but actors Chris Pine and Bradley Cooper have both been rumored to potentially don the long wigs that trademarked the “Stayin’ Alive” band.
Bob Dylan, Going Electric (Due TBA)
After a short pause on production last year, the new Bob Dylan biopic is all-but confirmed. Helmed by experienced biographical director James Mangold (who gave Johnny Cash the biopic treatment in Walk The Line), the film is tentatively titled Going Electric.
It’s thought that the Searchlight Pictures title will chronicle Dylan’s infamous transition from an acoustic to an electric sound, which has since been credited with changing folk music forever. Perhaps buzziest of all, Call Me By Your Name star Timothée Chalamet is tapped to play the legendary songwriter, succeeding Cate Blanchette ’s former Dylan portrayal in 2007’s I’m Not There .
Whitney Houston, I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Due December 21)
With a title that honors the discography of one of the world’s best-selling musicians, I Wanna Dance With Somebody is slated for a Christmastime release, with the late singer’s estate greenlighting the production in 2020.
The film will chronicle the life and career of Houston, with Star Wars alum Naomi Ackie in the lead role and Stanley Tucci as her Grammy-winning producer Clive Davis. Anthony McCarten , who wrote The Theory of Everything as well as Bohemian Rhapsody, will pen the screenplay, which comes after Houston’s posthumous induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside her 2019 hologram tour.
Bob Marley, Untitled, (Due 2024)
After a period of inactivity, a biopic documenting the life of Reggae legend Bob Marley has picked up steam in recent weeks, with Deadline reporting earlier this month that Kingsley Ben-Adir of Peaky Blinders fame is set to portray the “Buffalo Soldier” singer. Ben-Adir adds to what is an already starry list of credits for the film, which also counts 2022 Best Picture nominee Reinaldo Marcus Green ( King Richard ) as its director.
RELATED: Director Reinaldo Marcus Green on ‘King Richard,’ His Bob Marley Biopic, and Working with David Simon on ‘We Own the City’
Accurately Honoring the musician’s life until his untimely death at age 36, Marely’s relatives Ziggy, Rita and Cedella are all set to co-produce. The project remains untitled, and has yet to receive an official release date.
Cher Untitled, (Due TBA)
After a string of appearances in films like Burlesque and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again , pop-star Cher is slated to receive the biopic treatment with a project penned by A Star Is Born writer Eric Roth . The singer will add co-producer to a long list of credits amassed over her almost six-decade career, and no-doubt seeks Oscar glory yet again after her 1988 win for Best Actress in Moonstruck.
Chronicling Cher’s career from her notorious split as one half of pop duo Sonny & Cher through to her ascension as a music legend in her own right, the untitled film is yet to cast a star, but Cher revealed that she’d prefer to have a newcomer in the leading role.
Madonna, Untitled (Due TBA)
While little is known of the upcoming Madonna biopic, it has been confirmed that a film about the pop culture icon is definitely in the works, with The Hollywood Reporter revealing this month that actresses Julia Garner ( Ozark ) and Florence Pugh ( Midsommar ) have both undergone a “Madonna bootcamp” audition process.
The singer herself is set to helm the film as director, while The Girl On The Train writer Erin Cressida will develop the screenplay. In a casting choice that certainly looks the part, Euphoria ’s Alexa Demie has likewise been considered as the lead for the film, which will be distributed by Universal Pictures .
The Grateful Dead, Untitled, (Due TBA)
Adding to its increasingly starry filmography in the wake of 2021’s CODA and Finch , tech giant turned production company Apple is upping the ante with the prospective release of a The Grateful Dead biopic. The film about the iconic rock band is reportedly helmed by Hollywood legend Martin Scorsese , and will follow what will be his 27th feature film in Killers Of The Flower Moon .
RELATED: Jonah Hill to Play Jerry Garcia in Martin Scorsese-Directed Grateful Dead Movie for Apple
Reuniting with his Wolf Of Wall Street Muse , Scorsese is said to have cast Jonah Hill as Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia. For their part, experience film biographers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who wrote the critically-acclaimed People Vs. O.J. Simpson are also on board to man the film’s script.
NEXT: ‘Blonde’: Ana de Armas' Marilyn Monroe Biopic Receives NC-17 Rating
Sort by Popularity - Most Popular Movies and TV Shows tagged with keyword "battle-of-the-bands"
- Movies or TV
- IMDb Rating
- In Theaters
- Release Year
1. Back to the Future (1985)
PG | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown.
Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Michael J. Fox , Christopher Lloyd , Lea Thompson , Crispin Glover
Votes: 1,271,820 | Gross: $210.61M
2. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
PG-13 | 112 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy
In a magically realistic version of Toronto, a young man must defeat his new girlfriend's seven evil exes one by one in order to win her heart.
Director: Edgar Wright | Stars: Michael Cera , Mary Elizabeth Winstead , Kieran Culkin , Anna Kendrick
Votes: 452,020 | Gross: $31.49M
3. School of Rock (2003)
PG-13 | 109 min | Comedy, Music
After being kicked out of his rock band, Dewey Finn becomes a substitute teacher of an uptight elementary private school, only to try and turn his class into a rock band.
Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Jack Black , Mike White , Joan Cusack , Adam Pascal
Votes: 322,386 | Gross: $81.26M
4. Yesterday (III) (2019)
PG-13 | 116 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Music
A struggling musician realizes he's the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles after waking up in an alternate reality where they never existed.
Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: Himesh Patel , Lily James , Sophia Di Martino , Ellise Chappell
Votes: 162,137 | Gross: $73.29M
5. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009)
PG | 88 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
The world-famous singing preteen chipmunk trio return to contend with the pressures of school, celebrity, and a rival female music group known as The Chipettes.
Director: Betty Thomas | Stars: Jason Lee , Zachary Levi , David Cross , Justin Long
Votes: 52,988 | Gross: $219.61M
6. LOL (2012)
PG-13 | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
As a new year at school begins, Lola's heart is broken by her boyfriend, though soon she's surprised by her best friend, promising musician Kyle, who reveals his feelings for her.
Director: Lisa Azuelos | Stars: Miley Cyrus , Douglas Booth , Ashley Greene , Demi Moore
Votes: 57,642 | Gross: $0.05M
7. Drumline (2002)
PG-13 | 118 min | Comedy, Drama, Music
A band director recruits a Harlem street drummer to play at a Southern university.
Director: Charles Stone III | Stars: Nick Cannon , Zoe Saldana , Orlando Jones , Leonard Roberts
Votes: 35,710 | Gross: $56.40M
8. Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny (2006)
R | 94 min | Adventure, Comedy, Music
To become the greatest band of all time, two slacker, wannabe-rockers set out on a quest to steal a legendary guitar pick that gives its holders incredible guitar skills, from a maximum security Rock and Roll museum.
Director: Liam Lynch | Stars: Jack Black , Kyle Gass , JR Reed , Ronnie James Dio
Votes: 113,790 | Gross: $8.32M
9. Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)
PG-13 | 123 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
Elwood must reunite the old band, with a few new members, and go on another "Mission from God."
Director: John Landis | Stars: Dan Aykroyd , John Goodman , Walter Levine , Tom Davis
Votes: 34,404 | Gross: $13.98M
10. 24 Hour Party People (2002)
R | 117 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama
In 1976, Tony Wilson sets up Factory Records and brings Manchester's music to the world.
Director: Michael Winterbottom | Stars: Steve Coogan , Lennie James , John Thomson , Nigel Pivaro
Votes: 38,977 | Gross: $1.13M
11. Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991)
PG | 93 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
A tyrant from the future creates evil android doubles of Bill and Ted and sends them back to eliminate the originals.
Director: Peter Hewitt | Stars: Keanu Reeves , Alex Winter , William Sadler , Joss Ackland
Votes: 79,844 | Gross: $38.04M
12. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)
PG | 113 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
A small-town band hits it big, but it must battle a nefarious plot in the music industry.
Director: Michael Schultz | Stars: Peter Frampton , Barry Gibb , Robin Gibb , Maurice Gibb
Votes: 6,875 | Gross: $20.38M
13. The Beat Beneath My Feet (2014)
TV-14 | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Family
A teenage boy discovers his unruly neighbour is really a disgraced Rock God who "died" 8 years ago owing a fortune in unpaid tax. The boy agrees not to reveal his secret on condition that he teaches him the dark arts of Rock Guitar.
Director: John Williams | Stars: Luke Perry , Nicholas Galitzine , Lisa Dillon , Verity Pinter
14. Bandslam (2009)
PG | 111 min | Comedy, Drama, Family
A new kid in town assembles a fledgling rock band -- together, they achieve their dreams and compete against the best in the biggest event of the year, a battle of the bands.
Director: Todd Graff | Stars: Aly Michalka , Vanessa Hudgens , Gaelan Connell , Scott Porter
Votes: 15,043 | Gross: $5.21M
15. Voyage of the Rock Aliens (1984)
PG | 97 min | Comedy, Musical, Sci-Fi
Aliens land in the town of "Speelburgh" searching for the source of rock & roll. They find trouble with Dee Dee, Frankie and the pack.
Director: James Fargo | Stars: Pia Zadora , Craig Sheffer , Tom Nolan , Ruth Gordon
16. Ex Drummer (2007)
Not Rated | 100 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
Three handicapped losers who form a band ask famous writer Dries to be their drummer. He joins the band and starts manipulating them.
Director: Koen Mortier | Stars: Dries Vanhegen , Norman Baert , Gunter Lamoot , Sam Louwyck
17. Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (1977 TV Movie)
Not Rated | 48 min | Comedy, Drama, Family
A poor otter family risks everything for the chance to win the cash prize of a talent contest for Christmas.
Director: Jim Henson | Stars: Jerry Nelson , Frank Oz , Marilyn Sokol , Dave Goelz
Votes: 4,396 | Gross: $0.23M
18. My Little Pony: Equestria Girls - Rainbow Rocks Animated (2014)
TV-Y | 75 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Three mysterious girls show up at canterlot high and cause trouble. With the magic of friendship, they want to defeat the mysterious girls.
Directors: Jayson Thiessen , Ishi Rudell | Stars: Tara Strong , Ashleigh Ball , Andrea Libman , Tabitha St. Germain
19. Graffiti Bridge (1990)
PG-13 | 90 min | Drama, Music
The unofficial sequel to 'Purple Rain' (1984). The Kid is now club owner and rival to Morris (Morris Day), with whom he gets into a fight for the Glam Slam Nightclub.
Director: Prince | Stars: Prince , Morris Day , Ingrid Chavez , Jerome Benton
Votes: 2,220 | Gross: $4.56M
20. Under the Greenwood Tree (2005 TV Movie)
TV-PG | 93 min | Drama, Romance
In this lighthearted romance from Victorian novelist Thomas Hardy, the beautiful new village school teacher is pursued by three suitors: a working-class man, a landowner, and the vicar.
Director: Nicholas Laughland | Stars: Keeley Hawes , James Murray , Terry Mortimer , Richard Leaf
21. Cotton Candy (1978 TV Movie)
97 min | Comedy, Music
A group of high school friends form a rock band.
Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Charles Martin Smith , Clint Howard , Leslie King , Kevin Lee Miller
22. Lovelines (1984)
R | 93 min | Comedy
Greed, lust, dirty tricks and bloody fist fights... All those things that make life worth living. When Piper and Rick, the two hottest properties in the Battle of the Bands want to make it,... See full summary »
Director: Rod Amateau | Stars: Greg Bradford , Mary Beth Evans , Michael Winslow , Don Michael Paul
Votes: 299 | Gross: $0.29M
23. American Teen (2008)
PG-13 | 95 min | Documentary
A documentary on seniors at a high school in a small Indiana town and their various cliques.
Director: Nanette Burstein | Stars: Hannah Bailey , Jake Tusing , Megan Krizmanich , Colin Clemens
Votes: 4,219 | Gross: $0.94M
24. Ferry Cross the Mersey (1964)
G | 88 min | Musical
Gerry and Fred Marsden, Les McGuire, and Les "Chad" Chadwick portray themselves in a romp through the early-1960s Liverpool Beat Scene. Art students by day and musicians by night, the boys'... See full summary »
Director: Jeremy Summers | Stars: Gerry Marsden , Freddie Marsden , Leslie Maguire , Les Chadwick
25. The Boys & Girl from County Clare (2003)
R | 90 min | Comedy, Music, Romance
In 1965, Jimmy McMahon and his group of Liverpudlians plot to win the annual céilí music competition in Ireland.
Director: John Irvin | Stars: Colm Meaney , Bernard Hill , Shaun Evans , Andrea Corr
Votes: 1,496 | Gross: $0.14M
26. The Curiosity of Chance (2006)
98 min | Comedy
A confident, out-of-the-closet gay teenager has the support of an eclectic range of friends while dealing with a homophobic bully during his first year at an international high school.
Director: Russell P. Marleau | Stars: Tad Hilgenbrink , Brett Chukerman , Aldevina Da Silva , Pieter Van Nieuwenhuyze
27. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game (2010 Video Game)
T | Action, Adventure, Comedy
Scott Pilgrim, his girlfriend Ramona, and his bandmates Kim and Steven must fight their way through Toronto to battle Ramona's seven evil Ex's.
28. Notes from Dad (2013 TV Movie)
Family, Music, Romance
Gifted trumpet player Clay Allen accepts a job as high-school music teacher. The music department is threatened by budget cuts. To raise community support, he tries to resurrect the school ... See full summary »
Director: Eriq La Salle | Stars: Eddie Cibrian , Josie Davis , Priscilla Garita , Lauren Arevian
29. Bandwagon (1996)
Not Rated | 103 min | Comedy, Music
Four young men hardly know each other, but here they are in the most volatile and tenuous of unions: a band. They find themselves hurtling through an exhilarating adventure on a collision course with self discovery, or self destruction.
Director: John Schultz | Stars: Kevin Corrigan , Steve Parlavecchio , Lee Holmes , Matthew Hennessey
Votes: 671 | Gross: $0.02M
30. Jonovision (1996–2001)
Comedy, Music, Talk-Show
A talk show aimed toward teenagers, hosted by Jonathan Torrens.
Stars: Jonathan Torrens , Danny Smith , Mishu Vellani , Kristi Angus
31. Siren (2006)
87 min | Comedy, Drama, Music
She seems like your ordinary overweight middle-aged wife & mom except her dream of being a rock star still weighs heavy on her soul, "they" say she can't do it, watch her transform and over... See full summary »
Director: Pat Kerby | Stars: Erin Gray , Michele Fiore-Kaime , Gary Graham , Anthony Gourdine
32. Klash (1995)
R | 95 min | Crime, Music, Romance
Stoney is a photographer who travels to Jamaica to photograph the KLA$H, the world's best reggae and dance hall bands. Stoney re-unites with an old girlfriend Blossom, and Blossom has a big payday via a criminal plan she puts in motion.
Director: Bill Parker | Stars: Jasmine Guy , Giancarlo Esposito , Stafford Ashani , Carl Bradshaw
33. Rock and Roll: The Movie (2016)
Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Music
Can a burned out, has been- never was 80's rocker still rock today in the modern music world?
Director: Darren Dowler | Stars: Darren Dowler , Clark Koelsch , Vince Corazza , Chip Bent
34. Minstrel Man (1977 TV Movie)
100 min | Drama, Music
During the early 1900's, 2 black brothers who work in a traveling minstrel have different goals; one's determined to succeed in a field which is dominated by white performers in blackface, ... See full summary »
Director: William A. Graham | Stars: Glynn Turman , Ted Ross , Tonea Stewart , Stanley Bennett Clay
35. Freefonix (2008–2009)
22 min | Animation, Family, Music
Freefonix have discovered a sophisticated way of fighting their battles against rival band Mantyz, by using the power of the Thirteenth Note, an awesome force that can bend space and minds ... See full summary »
Stars: Shelley Longworth , Jules de Jongh , Adam Longworth , Susan Zelouf
36. American Chai (2001)
R | 92 min | Comedy, Drama
Sureel is a young first-generation Indian American. All he wants is to be like his American friends, but his strict immigrant parents keep a tight rein on his life. Will he realize his dream of performing rock-and-roll music?
Director: Anurag Mehta | Stars: Aalok Mehta , Sheetal Sheth , Aasif Mandvi , Josh Ackerman
37. Jammin' (2006– )
50 min | Music, Reality-TV
Locally selected bands compete for a $10,000 prize and a Gibson sponsorship; along the way they get tips from celebrity mentors and star in their own music videos.
Stars: K.C. Porter , Rosanna Tavarez , Ricky Luna , Isis Sauceda
38. ...and on the 7th Day, God Rocked (2008)
98 min | Comedy, Music
A mockumentary about a Christan Battle of the Bands.
Director: Jason Page | Stars: Amy Abts , John Agurkis , Julie Ahasay , Carrie Boberg
39. Dutch Moves (1986)
53 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
Experimental film about a TV channel surfer who's trying to simultaneously follow three seemingly separate stories about the murder of a young couple, medieval ambassadors discussing a crisis and two secret agents in hot pursuit.
Director: Dalibor Martinis
40. Battle of the Pop Bands (1983 TV Special)
Director: Tim Marshall | Stars: Kid Jensen , Dutch , Moscow , Blasé
41. Battle of the Bands (1993 TV Movie)
60 min | Documentary, Music
Up-and-coming bands vie for a recording contract.
Director: Jeff Margolis | Stars: 2 Skinnee Js , Adam Curry , Dox Haus Mob , FleshNBlood
42. Corporate America Rocks (2006 Video)
109 min | Comedy, Music
In a downsized company, a ragtag group of office workers try to raise morale by forming a band to compete against other corporate rock groups. Their secret weapon is a hot lead guitar player, with a pair of loan sharks hot on his trail.
Director: Lance Ritchlin | Stars: Troy Alan , Angela Blake , Douglas Dekyne , Timothy Englert
43. The Great War: Director's Cut (2013)
97 min | Documentary
Director: Yan-Yan Mak | Stars: Calvin Choi , Remus Choi , Eric Kot , Jan Lamb
44. Home Movies (1999–2004) Episode: Pizza Club (2002)
TV-PG | 23 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama
McGuirk finds out about Brendon and his dad's Pizza Club and tries to bribe Brendon for membership.
Director: Loren Bouchard | Stars: Brendon Small , H. Jon Benjamin , Melissa Bardin Galsky , Janine Ditullio
45. Alvin & the Chipmunks (1983–1990) Episode: Back to Our Future (1990)
TV-G | Animation, Short, Adventure
The boys travel to the past in a time machine and meet up with their past selves.
Director: Don Spencer | Stars: Ross Bagdasarian Jr. , Janice Karman , Frank Welker , Dody Goodman
46. Little Mix: The Search (2020) Episode: Battle of the Bands (2020)
74 min | Documentary, Game-Show, Music
The six music acts assembled via the auditions make their debuts, competing to impress and performing head to head for the very first time. Only five can make it through to next week and stay in the running for the prize.
Director: Russell Thomas | Stars: Chris Ramsey , Perrie Edwards , Jesy Nelson , Leigh-Anne Pinnock
47. Amphibia (2019–2022) Episode: The Dinner/Battle of the Bands (2021)
TV-Y7 | 22 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
Anne and the Plantars invite some old adversaries over for dinner to try to bury the hatchet. Anne and her friends team up to enter the Wartwood Battle of the Bands contest.
Directors: Joseph D. Johnston , Kyler Spears | Stars: Brenda Song , Justin Felbinger , Bill Farmer , Amanda Leighton
48. Todd and the Book of Pure Evil (2010–2012) Episode: Todd the Metal God (2010)
TV-MA | 23 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
Todd finds the Book of Pure Evil and uses it to become a better guitar player in an attempt to win his dream girl Jenny away from her douche-bag boyfriend. But along with making him a better guitar player, it also turns Todd evil.
Director: James Dunnison | Stars: Alex House , Maggie Castle , Bill Turnbull , Melanie Leishman
49. Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (2009–2014) Episode: Episode dated 7 April 2010 (2010)
TV-14 | Comedy, Music, Talk-Show
Director: Dave Diomedi | Stars: Jimmy Fallon , Rachel Maddow , The Mighty Boosh , Dave Annable
50. Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (2009–2014) Episode: Episode dated 30 April 2010 (2010)
Stars: Jimmy Fallon , Gwyneth Paltrow , Colin Quinn , JabbaWockeez