A while back, jukebox musicals were all the Broadway rage, thanks to shows like Mamma Mia! and Rock of Ages. Now, the jukebox movie has come to take over Hollywood. It was inevitable, really, in the age of Big IP, that as soon as one person made money off framing a popular band’s catalog in a movie, then everyone would be doing it. Bohemian Rhapsody turned out to be the bellwether, and this week we will get the Elton John jukebox movie, Rocketman (review coming soon). This summer will also see movies featuring the music of The Beatles (Yesterday) and Bruce Springsteen (Blinded by the Light). And now, there will be a Boy George movie, too.
The Boy George movie will be directed by Sacha Gervasi, who made the Alfred Hitchcock biopic, Hitchcock. There is no star yet, but you know this will be a big piece of casting. Who could play Boy George? Will they try true-to-life casting and find an Irish actor for the role? Are we living in the darkest timeline where every 1980s band gets a movie? How long before the Madonna movie? If they do make a Madonna movie, would she let anyone else star in it, or would she insist on playing herself, but digitally de-aged? Would it not be AMAZING for gossip if Lady Gaga played Madonna in the Madonna movie?
I am slightly more open to movies like Yesterday and Blinded by the Light, because they are not biopics of the musicians themselves. Yesterday is an original concept that features Beatles’ music, and Blinded by the Light is based on the life of journalist Sarfraz Manzoor, the first-generation son of Southeast Asian immigrants in the UK who went through a deep Springsteen stage as a teenager. That’s a lot more interesting than a paint-by-numbers biopic meant more to sell albums than tell a good story. But the music biopic/jukebox craze will continue, until one of these movies manages to lose money. Based on the Broadway trend, that will never happen and we will one day live to see a movie based on the music of Flock of Seagulls starring, probably, James Corden. On that day, I shall walk into the woods and never return.
Attached - Boy George performing in London last night.