Last year, the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody blew the doors off of movie theaters everywhere, delivering a pulse-pounding, fist-pumping ode to one of the greatest rock bands of all time and its frontman. After winning a slew of awards, including a few Oscars, it’s natural for many fans to ask whether or not their favorite bands and singers deserve such an honor.
While biopics on famous musicians isn’t anything new, Bohemian Rhapsody took the genre to new heights, infusing Mercury’s story with blockbuster production values and a healthy dose of fan service. Here are 10 singers who need such biopics to share the spotlight with their gold and platinum albums.
10 Meat Loaf
Michael Aday, better known by his stage name Meat Loaf, came out of nowhere to deliver one of the best rock albums of the 70’s. Bat out of Hell and its sequel, Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell, are regularly regarded as two of the greatest albums ever made, thanks in part to Meat Loaf’s strong and energetic voice and Jim Stinemen’s sharp writing prowess.
The story of how Meat came to be is seemingly tailor-made for the Hollywood treatment, and because of how wild his upbringing was, there really isn’t much that screenwriters need to fabricate. If you need any proof, give “Objects in the Rearview Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are” a listen, and you’d be surprised that Hollywood hasn’t come knocking at Meat’s door already.
Lewis ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister, the late frontman of the British rock group Motorhead, didn’t just embrace the rock n’ roll lifestyle, he lived in it until the day he died. While his music has its critics, no one can deny that Motorhead’s rough and grizzled sound had no competition, and Lemmy’s raspy vocals helped the band to stand out in a congested playing field.
Considering all the misinformation and rumors surrounding Lemmy’s life, much of which were of his own making, creating a realistic biopic would be difficult if not impossible. Luckily, a Lemmy biopic is a project begging for creative liberty, if only to cement his position as a god of drugs, sex and rock n’ roll.
8 Ozzy Osbourne
Another artist known for his off-the-rails lifestyle, Ozzy Osbourne infused occultist themes and imagery with heavy metal to create an ora of darkness that still reigns supreme. Throughout his career, Ozzy has delivered a diverse variety of for sinister material to give the Grim Reaper a run for his money.
Ozzy’s life story should be an obvious pick for anyone looking to make a biopic. And given that the now seventy-year-old Ozzy is currently embarking on his farewell tour, there’s no better time than ever to celebrate the final chapter in his long, unhinged career than with a roof-raising blockbuster.
7 Iggy Pop
The bare-chested maniac with a lust for life, Iggy Pop shocked audiences everywhere through self-mutilation and unpredictable behavior on stage. There’s no denying that Iggy’s earliest works helped sew the seeds to what would later become Punk, now widely seen as a precursor to the modern-day alternative.
Ironically, a biopic about him was in the works, one that would’ve started Elijah Wood as Iggy himself. The film was scrapped for unknown reasons, but a script does exist, meaning that anyone hoping to revive it already has some of their work done for them.
6 Frank Zappa
While you probably won't hear any of Frank Zappa’s music on the radio anytime soon, there’s a likelihood that your favorite bands were probably influenced by his mind-bending sound. Zappa’s experiential riffs became staples of the counterculture movement and were a rallying cry for a those sick of the status quo.
While Zappa’s music is sometimes difficult to listen to, his music has amassed a cult following that still remains strong today. Perhaps a movie would finally help shed some light on a singer whose music was, and perhaps still is, ahead of its time.
5 Kurt Cobain
Perhaps one of the most prolific members of the infamous 27 club, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s tumultuous life reads like that of a modern Greek tragedy. While his inner demons eventually got the best of him, his music managed to touch millions around the world, and his legacy continues today.
There are many documentaries about Cobain’s life, the most recent of which, Montage of Heck, premiered on HBO back in 2015. But as of now, there has been no biopic. With Cobain’s legend firmly enshrined within Gen-X mindset, and those who came after them a Cobain biopic is not just wanted but expected.
Cher has been in the public eye for so long that it’s hard to imagine a time without her. By constantly changing her style and tone in order to take advantage of new and emerging trends, Cher has managed to remain consistently relevant, amassing a catalog of soulful expressions of desire that have been her bread and butter over the last fifty years.
While it seems strange that such a prolific figure hasn’t gotten a biopic to call her own, we may not need to wait much longer. Cher has been pushing for a biopic based on her life lately, following the release of the Broadway biographical musical The Cher Show. Only time will tell if this production ever gets off the ground, but for the time being, it seems that the Goddess of Pop has plenty of surprises in store for us still.
3 Pete Townshend
The lead singer of the British rock band The Who, Pete Townshend is a rock god if there ever was one. Considered one of the loudest bands of all time, The Who’s violent stage theatrics cemented their place within the halls of rock n’ roll.
Of all the proposed biopics listed here, Pete Townshend’s would be the closest to matching Bohemian Rhapsody in terms of sheer volume and exuberance. For the loudest band in the world, any film that doesn’t at least break a few theater sound systems just isn’t going to cut it.
2 Mick Jagger
For someone who once said he’d rather die at 25 while at the peak of his fame, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger sure knows how to bring the house down well into his seventies. The band that refuses to die is still recording and touring like there’s no tomorrow, and at this rate, we might as well just admit that Jagger is immortal.
This makes the lack of a biopic particularly puzzling. Rumors of a Jagger biopic have been touted over the years, but they usually amount to nothing. Regardless, a Jagger biopic is all but inevitable. You can bet that a Jagger biopic will see the light of day, just as you can bet that the Stones’ music will be played until the end of time itself.
1 David Bowie
The pale white duke left behind one hell of a hole when he left our world three years ago. A chameleon whose music, looks and tone changed almost on a whim, Bowie revolutionized rock with his gender-bending, genre-defying acts of musical brilliance.
The good news is that there is a Bowie biopic in the works. The movie, called Stardust, is in its very early stages of development, and will likely come out sometime next year or so. But the film will allegedly not feature any of Bowie’s music. Hopefully, this is an issue that’ll get fixed should production continue.