According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox Searchlight is in talks to produce a biopic about the seminal punk rock band The Ramones. The film, which would be based on the forthcoming memoir I Slept With Joey Ramone by Ramone’s brother Mickey Leigh and punk journalist Legs McNeil, would focus on the origins of the band, each member’s myriad problems with drugs (and with each other), and the group’s considerable impact on modern popular music.
The project is being spearheaded by producer Rory Rosegarten. Rosegarten (who is best known as the former executive producer of the TV show Everybody Loves Raymond) bought the rights to I Slept With Joey Ramone while the book was still being written. More importantly, however, when Rosegarten picked up the rights to the book, he also picked up the rights to The Ramones’ music.
Given the commercial and financial success of such popular music biopics as Ray and the Johnny Cash film Walk the Line, bringing The Ramones to the big screen is a no-brainer. Besides the band’s collective status as godfathers of punk rock, each member of The Ramones was unique in his own right. For instance, did you know that Joey Ramone had obsessive-compulsive disorder? Oh yeah, and he was a die-hard liberal who fought vehemently with the adamant conservative of the group, Johnny Ramone. Exactly the kind of stuff that good drama is made of, right?
As a huge Ramones fan, I would love to see a biopic of the group reach the big screen. Unfortunately, right now there’s no guarantee it will happen. As THR points out, given the often complex legal issues involved with music and legacy rights, putting together a biopic of a band or musical artist is especially difficult. Hopefully, since Rosegarten owns the rights to the music, the product can be expedited somewhat.
What do you think of this news? Would you like to see The Ramones on the big screen? Who could play Joey Ramone (besides Vinnie Chase)?