The director of a new Quadrophenia film attacked by The Who has defended his movie, saying he doesn’t intend it to be a sequel to the band’s 1979 film.
Ray Burdis is the writer/director of To Be Someone, which was reported to be a sequel to Quadrophenia, the influential Mod film based on The Who’s 1973 album of the same name.
On learning of the film, The Who issued a statement disassociating themselves from Burdis’ film and calling it “totally ridiculous”.
Burdis’ new film stars several of the same cast as Quadrophenia, including Phil Daniels, Trevor Laird and singer Toyah Willcox. It’s based on the novel by Peter Meadows, which says it’s “inspired by” Quadrophenia.
Burdis told NME: “I totally agree that Quadrophenia is a classic, iconic film that should never be revisited. If The Who management had actually read the script of To Be Someone, they would have realised it is not an attempt at a Quadrophenia sequel but a stand-alone film based on modern day Mod culture. It’s a feel good, fun, fashion and music extravaganza.”
Burdis added that he has never described To Be Someone as a sequel. He said: “I have never stated that it was a sequel, and if people draw that conclusion from the cast, what can I do? The fact that some of the cast are in my film is purely coincidental; they are old friends who I have known for years, who like the script and have an interest in the Mod culture.”
In 1990, Burdis directed The Krays, a Kray twins biopic starring Spandau Ballet brothers Gary and Martin Kemp. Burdis said: “As far as The Who and original Quadrophenia producer Bill Curbishley are concerned, the new film is a blatant attempt to cash in on the original film’s enduring popularity. But,when I made the original film about the Krays, I never once thought that no-one else could do a film about the gangster genre.”
The Who’s statement made it clear that they would deny any use of their music for To Be Someone. Burdis responded: “I have never mentioned that I would use any of The Who’s music. To the contrary, I feel no need for classics that have been over exposed on TV. This film needs a fresh injection of talented musicians that today’s generation can relate to.”
Burdis did admit that he had hoped to cast Roger Daltrey in his film. He said: “I’m sorry that The Who’s management feel affronted, as I would have loved Roger Daltrey to play a role, but there you go.”