When it comes to BioPics, they're often a dime a dozen. Most follow the same formula beat for beat, and rarely inject energy into the genre. Recently though, a certain subgenre of musical BioPics has rejuvenated the formula for better or worse.
Both Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, the BioPics focusing on Queen and Elton John, have become critical (for the most part) and audience phenomenons. Certainly, there was a bit of controversy surrounding Bohemian Rhapsody, but both films resonated with audiences in a way BioPics of the past had not. Through the power of iconic music and inspired casting, these films are changing the role of BioPics in the industry. Looking forward, here are ten bands and musicians who deserve their own BioPic in the vein of Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody.
The band behind Classic Rock hits such as Highway to Hell and Back in Black, AC/DC is prime and ready for the BioPic treatment. One of the most iconic rock bands of all time, AC/DC has sold more than 200 million records worldwide. AC/DC was formed in Australia in the early 70s by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Since then, the band has suffered multiple spouts of scandal, drama, and tragedy.
The lineup has changed drastically in their forty plus years of music making due to intermittent drama between band members. This struggle to keep the band together provides a perfect catalyst for much of the narrative throughline. The emotional core of the film though would be the loss of frontman Bon Scott to alcohol poisoning. The triumphant but somber comeback of their album Back in Black would be this film's Live Aid. AC/DC's biopic could be everything that The Dirt wasn't.
Cher is one of the most important figures in the Pop genre. Her career spans decades and genres in ways unseen in other artists. Born May 20, 1946, Cher's musical breakout was through her double act with her former husband Sonny Bono, Sonny & Cher.
Once the duo split, Cher made her real career through her solo work. Hits such as If I Could Turn Back Time made her an international superstar. Cher is just as theatrical a performer as Elton John or Freddie Mercury, so there is no denying a BioPic would be an entertaining watch. Also, there is already interest in it from none other than Cher herself. The chances of this happening are very, very good.
8 Frank Sinatra
Without a doubt, Frank Sinatra is one of the most influential performers in American music history. His crooner voice revolutionized the Jazz landscape and remains some of the most popular and iconic music of all time. With Sinatra being the legendary figure he is, it is a wonder that he hasn't received the BioPic treatment yet.
Martin Scorsese was set to direct his own version of Sinatra's life but eventually dropped the project citing strife with Sinatra's estate. This is a shame since Scorsese would have been the perfect fit for such a project. The landscape of New York runs through both Scorsese's films and Sinatra's music, so it would've been a perfect match. Hopefully, the idea is revisited, because a Scorsese directed (and maybe Leonardo DiCaprio lead) feature would have been exceptional.
There is a reason he's The King of Rock n' Roll. Elvis Presley is undoubtedly one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century, period. Beyond music, Elvis was a definite cultural staple of films, television, merchandise, and more. There is such an obsession over the artist that a BioPic should have happened years ago.
It would seem that Baz Luhrmann is currently in the early stages of producing his own BioPic on Elvis. Such a garish director would fit perfectly into the aesthetics of Elvis and his music. Until that sees actual traction, audiences are still missing out on what would certainly be an eagerly awaited telling of the King's story.
6 Stevie Nicks & Fleetwood Mac
Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac are synonymous with each other, but that was not always the case. Nicks didn't join the band until later in their history after she and Lindsey Buckingham were recruited. The marriage would fit perfectly to create one of the greatest albums of all time: Rumors.
Unfortunately, behind the scenes drama would send the band into emotional turmoil. This drama is some of the most known in musical history and has yet to be put to the big screen. This band created some of the most beloved folk-pop of all time, so pairing their music with their story would result in a fascinating look into the relationship between people and their art.
5 Simon & Garfunkel
Simon & Garfunkel's music was some of the most beloved American folk ever. The duo were childhood friends, and through adulthood became worldwide icons of folk and pop. The Sound of Silence, Mrs. Robinson, and Bridge Over Troubled Water remains resonant to audiences today just as much as they did upon release.
As it often does though, the duo was plagued by jealousy and creative difference. Strife followed them through their career and eventual breakup in 1970. This complex relationship would be fascinating to see play out through a film. Double acts offer a dynamic that many biopics don't, and would allow this film to stand apart on its own.
4 Bob Marley
Few artists are as synonymous with a genre as Bob Marley is with Reggae. Without Marley's work, the genre might have never had the international success it has today. Bob Marley's iconic status is unlike anyone else, both embodying an entire musical and national identity.
Marley's BioPic would be a fascinating look at a music industry that many audiences have never seen before. Most of these BioPics have to deal with the industry in either the UK or the US, so placing much of this film firmly in the Jamaican Reggae scene offers a brand new lens to understand. It would also bring to light the activism that Marley was committed to, both for the legalization of Marijuana and the support of people of color.
3 Janis Joplin
As funny as 30 Rock's Janis Joplin BioPic joke is, an actual film focusing on the tragic artist would be incredible. Joplin embodied both the good and the bad of her generation, surpassing the creative genius of generations past while still falling prey to addiction and tragedy. Her music lives on, as well as her iconic status.
A Janis Joplin BioPic had been in the works for a while, with Amy Adams set to star as the rockstar. Sadly, the project fell through and never saw the light of day. Light the Sinatra film, hopefully, it will regain traction and Joplin's story will finally be told.
2 The Beatles
There is no other band in the history of popular music that has ever reached the status of The Beatles. Like them or not, they are the most instantly recognizable figures in music possibly ever. The Beatles were no strangers to films either, dabbling into the medium with releases such as A Hard Day's Night, Help!, and Yellow Submarine.
Though their work has been prevalent in other films, the band itself has never actually had the BioPic treatment. Out of all of these choices, this one (and the following) seems to fit the mold set forth by Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman. The Beatles' music was meant to sing along with, and creating a musical style BioPic set to their story and tunes would be a revelation.
1 David Bowie
Freddie Mercury and Elton John are just two of three figures who embodied the British Pop and Glam Rock movements of the 70s and 80s. The third was David Bowie. The late great artist had no peers in terms of his personality or taste. Though Mercury and John hold a similar status as icons, each held a different presence from the other.
Bowie is the most deserving of the BioPic treatment. His fashion and music would embody a whole new aesthetic for a film to explore. Unlike the other two, he also held experience in starring in films. His work reached far beyond music alone, and his impact deserves to be explored. While a BioPic is in the works, it does not hold the license to use his music. A film with the blessing of his estate needs to be made to fully capture the entirety of Bowie as a musician, artist, and otherworldly human being.