DEF LEPPARD frontman JOE ELLIOTT has spoken exclusively to NME.COM about the forthcoming biopic on the band being made by MADONNA and GUY RITCHIE’s film company.
As previously revealed on NME.COM, the Sheffield rock veterans are to be the subject of a film covering their career from the late ’70s up until the ‘Hysteria’ tour in 1988.
Elliott said: “[TV channel] VH1 approached us to buy the rights to make a movie and unbeknown to me, MadGuy productions are coughing up the money for it. I would imagine that Madonna and Guy are just the figureheads for this production company that makes little independent films, though I’m sure she knows she’s putting the money up for us. But I doubt she went into the production office singing ‘Into The Groove’ and said, ‘You know what, I want to make a movie about Def Leppard.’
“My first reaction was: ‘How can a film be written about Def Leppard when there isn’t one about The Beatles or the Stones or Michael Jackson or Madonna, someone you’d be proud to be mentioned in the same breath as, like The Who or Zeppelin.’ Maybe it’s hard to judge from the outside when you’re in it. Maybe it’s the fact that we survived our drummer losing his arm and our guitarist dying. There’s a human element to Def Leppard in that, not only are we successful, but we did it in spite of an enormous amount of obstacles put in front of us during our path to stardom.”
Elliott is acting as “script doctor”, checking the story for factual accuracy.
“The last thing I want is fans going, ‘This is bullshit! How could they put their name to this, when it’s got [guitarist] Steve [Clark, who died in 1991 after mixing alcohol and prescription painkillers] still alive in ’95 or Rick [Allen, drummer, who lost his arm in a car smash in 1984] still having the arm in ’86.’ It would be ridiculous.”
Casting is to take place in Los Angeles soon, and Elliott said ideally he’d like to see Sean Bean playing his part, as he’d be “funny as fuck”, or Brad Pitt for his looks, but believes that a young cast, probably of unknown actors, will fill the roles of the band members. The film is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
In other Def Leppard news, the band – who recently played a gig in the round to a 50,000-plus audience at Houston Astrodome – have been working independently on new material, and Elliott revealed that they hope to have finished recording a new album by the end of the year, and that there are tentative hopes that they may tour it next year.