Heeere’s Johnny Thunders

Johnny Thunders and Nina Antonia (Photo: Jungle Records)

Johnny Thunders and Nina Antonia (Photo: Jungle Records)

Punk rocker Johnny Thunders will get his close-up in 2017 when a biopic directed by Jonas Akerlund is set to hit screens. Based on the book Johnny Thunders: In Cold Blood by British journalist Nina Antonia, the film explores Thunder’s life and career from his days as a New York Doll and then with his own band, The Heartbreakers.

Antonia, whose life story was also optioned for the project, makes her way into the narrative as one of the characters in the film. She wrote the script along with Ada Guerin and Chloe Caro, and the trio will produce, with Jim Agnew and David Hilary executive producing.

“Thunders had an appetite for fast living that could probably make Keith Richards nervous,” wrote DenOfGeek, going on to predict that the biopic “has the potential to be something really nuts, and of course will bring a brilliant soundtrack to the party.” Thunders died in New Orleans in 1991 at the age of 38, bringing to a close his long battle with addiction.

“To me, he represented everything rock n’roll was supposed to be: it was dangerous, it was subversive and the guitars really sounded gritty,” Antonia said about Thunders, who she first wrote about for the fanzine Merseybeat when she was only 17.

Akerlund is a Swedish drummer and music video director whose work includes Madonna’s Grammy-winning “Ray of Light” and Lady Gaga’s “Telephone.” He won a Grammy for Paul McCartney’s “Live Kisses” (2014) and this year received an Emmy nomination as one of the directors for Beyonce’s visual album “Lemonade.” He’s also worked with The Rolling Stones, U2, Maroon 5, Metallica and Taylor Swift, among others, and is represented for commercials by RSA.


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