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FX wants to be anarchy.
The Disney-owned outlet has ordered a six-episode limited series, Pistol, about punk rock legends the Sex Pistols. It’s based on a memoir titled Lonely Boy: Tales From a Sex Pistol by the band’s guitarist, Steve Jones, and will be directed and executive produced by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire).
Craig Pearce (Moulin Rouge!) created the series and wrote the episodes with Frank Cottrell Boyce (Sometimes Always Never). Pistol comes from FX Productions and Wiip.
“It’s great to be back in business with Danny Boyle, an exceptional artist responsible for so many great feature films and TV series,” said Nick Grad, president original programming at FX. “Steve Jones was at the center of the storm that shook the rock establishment and we’re thrilled to have Danny and the rest of the creative team tell his story as a member of one of music’s most notorious bands — the Sex Pistols.”
Pistol will center on Jones, who co-founded the Sex Pistols in the mid-1970s. It will follow his life from West London’s council estates to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s boutique, Sex — one of the early centers of punk culture in London — and the band’s meteoric rise and fall.
“Imagine breaking into the world of The Crown and Downton Abbey with your mates and screaming your songs and your fury at all they represent. This is the moment that British society and culture changed forever,” said Boyle. “It is the detonation point for British street culture, where ordinary young people had the stage and vented their fury and their fashion — and everyone had to watch & listen, and everyone feared them or followed them. The Sex Pistols. At its center was a young charming illiterate kleptomaniac — a hero for the times — Steve Jones, who became in his own words, the 94th greatest guitarist of all time. This is how he got there.”
Added Wiip CEO Paul Lee, “The Sex Pistols changed music forever and Danny Boyle is the perfect director to tell Steve Jones’ story fueled by raw creativity and destruction. We’re thrilled to be making this with our friends at FX.”
Toby Wallace (Babyteeth, Netflix’s The Society) will play Jones in the series. The cast also includes Anson Boon (Crawl, 1917) as Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten; Louis Partridge (Enola Holmes) as bass player Sid Vicious; Jacob Slater as drummer Paul Cook; Fabien Frankel (The Serpent) as original band member Glen Matlock; Dylan Llewellyn (Frequencies, Derry Girls) as Wally Nightingale, who played with Jones in a forerunner to the Pistols; Sydney Chandler (Don’t Worry Darling) as future Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde, who worked at Sex in the mid-’70s; Emma Appleton (The Witcher) as Nancy Spungen, Vicious’ girlfriend; and Game of Thrones favorite Maisie Williams as punk icon Jordan.
CAA-backed Wiip was among the points of contention in the long fight over packaging between the Writers Guild of America and agencies. In announcing an agreement with the WGA in December, CAA and parent company TPG pledged to reduce their ownership stake in Wiip to 20 percent.
Pistol is Boyle’s second collaboration with FX. He executive produced and directed several episodes of the cabler’s 2018 limited series Trust. Jones, Boyle and Pearce executive produce with Gail Lyon, Anita Camarata, Tracey Seaward, Paul Lee, Hope Hartman and Wiip. Production on the series is slated to begin in March.
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