Joe Elliott Is in Support of a Def Leppard Biopic
Given the success of recent rock biopics from Queen (Bohemian Rhapsody) Elton John (Rocket Man) and Motley Crue's reunion-spurring The Dirt, the film route seems like a natural one for many other multi-platinum rock artists. It's a different situation for Def Leppard, who already had a movie made about their life in 2001 via the made-for-TV release, Hysteria — The Def Leppard Story.
"You've got to remember the one that was done for us was 20 years ago," Elliott said of the highly-criticized Def Lep biopic (transcription via Blabbermouth). "It was such a non-event. In the history of music, people weren't doing movies on bands [at the time]. There hadn't been a biopic on The [Rolling] Stones or The Beatles," the singer explained. He mentioned that VH1 elected to focus on Def Leppard primarily because of the "humanistic story," which placed emphasis on drummer Rick Allen's recovery and return to the band after losing his arm in a car accident.
Elliott went on to criticize the film's inaccuracies, adding that the band "had barely any say" in the direction of it all.
"Things have moved a long way since then," he said, understanding that Hysteria — The Def Leppard story was part victim of circumstance given the landscape at the time. Now, however, the singer expressed his hopes for the enduring quality of rock biopics.
"The Queen movie set a precedent that's gonna be pretty hard to top," commented Elliott to Trunk. "A billion dollars at the box office is insane. I mean, that's bigger than [James] Bond movies. The Elton [John biopic] did incredibly well. The Dirt did really, really well," he said of the highlights.
Though the band is not actively pursuing the production of another biopic, Elliott assured fans that the band won't be a roadblock if someone eventually does want to take a shot at telling Def Leppard's story on film. "If somebody comes to us one day and says that they wanna do it, we're not gonna stop them," affirmed the frontman.
Elliott doesn't feel a Def Leppard biopic could be a flop "because now there's such a standard set that it would have to match those three movies that we mentioned. So it would be a much, much better version of what that story was."
He's aware that his band's narrative naturally lends itself to good filmmaking, adding that Lynyrd Skynyrd's story probably tops that of any band.
"You never say never," concluded Elliott. "We're not gonna fund one ourselves, but if Pixar or Disney or somebody decided they wanted to do it, we would embrace it the same way we ended up embracing the [Rock And Roll] Hall Of Fame."
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