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Ian Fraser Kilmister, the late lead singer of Motörhead, one of rock’s legendary hard-living frontmen and a figure recognised globally as just “Lemmy,” is getting the biopic treatment.
The upcoming film, Lemmy, is to be directed by Greg Olliver, who spent three years following Motörhead and Kilmister — who passed away in 2015 aged 70 — for the 2010 documentary of the same name.
The new project, which will be introduced to buyers by VMI Worldwide at the upcoming virtual Cannes market, will center on Kilmister — regarded as a godfather of heavy metal — and his adventures as a “vanguard and talisman of the loudest, dirtiest and most liberated rock ’n’ roll band in the world.”
Lemmy will follow Kilmister’s early life in England, his early experiences as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix and his time with psychedelic rock back Hawkwind (with whom he spent five years before being fired for erratic behavior).
But it wasn’t until his 30s that the musician strode out on his own to create Motörhead, which would change the rock world with its unrepentant mixture of loud, fast and completely free rock ‘n’ roll — paving the way for bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and others as it bridged the gap between heavy metal, thrash and punk.
Motörhead would record and tour for 40 years until Lemmy’s death in 2015, with their 1980 single “Ace of Spades” still a world-renowned heavy metal anthem.
“Everything you’ve heard about Lemmy is probably true … not because he was embracing rock n’ roll clichés, but because he was creating them,” said Olliver. “Marlboro Reds and Jack Daniel’s for breakfast, speed for dinner — all true. But behind that steely-eyed façade of rock ‘n’ roll was also a compelling, complicated and lion-hearted man who stayed the course and never gave up playing the music that made him happy. We’ve been carefully developing this biopic since 2013, making sure to stay true to Lemmy, Motörhead band members Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee, and all the other folks that played important roles in Lemmy’s life. This will be a film they’ll be proud of.”
Lemmy will be produced by VMI Worldwide’s Andre Relis and Damon Lane. Motörhead’s manager Todd Singerman and Steffan Chirazi will serve as executive producers. The screenplay was written by Medeni Griffiths with additional writing by Olliver.
Casting has yet to be announced. Speaking just months before his death, Kilmister said he would have wanted Roger Moore to play him in a biopic.
“It is a story of immense cultural importance,” said Chirazi and Singerman in a statement. “If the last five years of his absence has taught us anything, it is that he was more unique than anyone could ever have known, because no one touches the quality and sheer freedom of the man. Greg is a deeply trusted part of our circle, and we are delighted to see this film coming to fruition.”
Added Relis: “Lemmy and Mötorhead’s music had a major influence on my life and music experience. They were the band that started the crossover of metal and punk.”
Production on Lemmy is looking to start in early 2021.
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