Upcoming Sex Pistols Movie ‘Not Endorsed’ by Johnny Rotten
However, the producer still plans to move ahead with the film, which will be called Only Anarchists Are Pretty.
"You may have seen recent reports of a Sex Pistols biopic," Lydon's Twitter account stated. "For the avoidance of doubt, this film would be unauthorized, unofficial, and not endorsed by Sex Pistols."
The film takes its name from Mick O'Shea's 2004 book The Early Days of the Sex Pistols: Only Anarchists Are Pretty, which its publisher described as a "semi-fictionalized fly-on-the-wall account [that] focuses on the band’s early days when they were a bunch of rock-obsessed street urchins and petty crooks, rehearsing, bickering, fighting and hanging around Malcolm McLaren’s shop SEX."
"The only non-factual element is my putting words into their mouths, but the dialogue is in context with what was happening around them,” O'Shea, who co-wrote the screenplay with producer Ayesha Plunkett, told Variety.
As such, Plunkett protested that her movie is "not a biopic. I’m not interested in doing that. It’s a feature film, a script written from a book I liked by Mick O’Shea.”
While the book covers the 16 months from the moment Lydon joined the Sex Pistols in August 1975 up through their infamous, profanity-laced televised interview with Bill Grundy in December 1976, the film covers the next six months -- through the release of "God Save the Queen" and the band's gig on a barge that floated down the Thames River to mock Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee celebrations.
“We decided to do the six-month period from them going on the Today show to the release of ‘God Save the Queen’ and the trip down the river – that is the six months in which they were public enemy No. 1,” O'Shea said.
He noted that he believes Lydon's unwillingness to endorse Only Anarchists Are Pretty is based on a previous experience. “Sid and Nancy presented the band as illiterate buffoons," he said. "And that’s a big part of John’s reticence to get involved with any other Pistols-related projects.”
The movie doesn't have a director or cast yet.