James Maker, a childhood friend of Morrissey, has criticised a new biopic based on the former Smiths frontman’s early life, describing the film’s trailer as “disingenuous” and “rather insulting”.
The first trailer for the Morrissey biopic England Is Mine was released last week, with the film premiering at the Edinburgh Film Festival before arriving in cinemas on August 4.
Following the trailer release, Maker – who danced onstage with The Smiths at their early gigs before forming the bands Raymonde and RPLA – has released a statement via Facebook (read below) in which he states of the film: “It is not a biopic, but historical fiction”.
Maker goes on to object to Morrissey being portrayed as “an autistic, retiring creature with both curly hair and a natural crimp, who had to be physically pushed into becoming a singer by a well-meaning friend”, adding: “The premise that if Morrissey could be a singer, then anybody could, is disingenuous, and rather insulting to his original talent as an artist.”
Read his full statement beneath:
Originally called Steven, England Is Mine stars Jack Lowden (Dunkirk, A United Kingdom) as Morrissey and Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey, Black Mirror) as his best friend, Linder Sterling.
England Is Mine will largely explore the frontman’s youth and his “triumph over an alienated childhood to become the cult star he is today”. In a recent interview, the film’s producer Williams revealed that the biopic will end when Morrissey meets Johnny Marr.
The movie is being directed by Mark Gill and produced by Baldwin Li and Orian Williams, the latter of whom worked as producer on the Ian Curtis biopic Control.