It just goes to show you.
Anything can happen in Hollywood.
Take four young musicians from the L.A. circuit, and watch them become Arena Rock Icons that hold the title of one of the best-selling bands of all time. Then, take that very same bunch of guys and let them sit down to write their autobiography as a band and watch it soar onto the New York Times Bestseller list for four weeks and sell over 13,000 copies in the UK alone. Then, if that's not enough, take that best selling book and announce to the world that it's about to become a feature-length film and the overwhelming hype around that project has the ability to make everyone's heads turn once again.
That's just the way it is for Motley Crue.
They call themselves "the world's most notorious rock band" and they very well just might be right on the money with that one.
The Glam Metal rock band Motley Crue has become synonymous with reckless, self-indulgent behavior. They are infamously known for their excess with drugs, heavy makeup, sex, violence, fast cars and celebrity love affairs. Not to mention their no-holds-barred stage theatrics like setting one of the band members pants on fire mid-song or chain-sawing the heads off mannequins.
For those of you who might say Motley Crue was before your time, let's get acquainted with some basic facts.
The Dirt will feature Douglas Booth as Nikki Sixx, Iwan Rheon as Mick Mars, Daniel Webber as Vince Neil and rapper Machine Gun Kelly as drummer Tommy Lee.
The Dirt will be directed by Jeff Tremaine, who is best known for his work on the Jackass movies and the MTV series of the same name. Director Jeff Tremaine has been attached to this project for years, he even produced The End, the concert documentary revolving around Mötley Crüe's final show. The Mötley Crüe band members are also acting as co-producers on the film.
MEET THE NEW CRUE
Rapper Machine Gun Kelly will be playing drummer Tommy Lee.
Colson Baker, the rapper and actor better known by his stage name Machine Gun Kelly, is portraying the wild-spirited rocker Tommy Lee in the upcoming biopic, The Dirt.
As production is currently underway, he has been getting into the Glam Metal attire previously worn by Lee, by wearing patent leather lace-up boots with what appears to be four inch platform heels.
“Tommy Lee, what the f**k were you wearing these for,” Machine Gun Kelly laughed, while stomping around on a previous Instagram story.
Machine Gun Kelly has been really learning how to play the drums for the film. Playing Lee may not be that big of a stretch for MGK, as he’s already something of a music star himself. Just like Lee, Kelly's own stage persona is bold and in your face. And let's face it. This tattoo-clad musician-actor certainly knows how to rock the ink as well.
Fashion is also definitely a priority for MGK. He has his own sneaker with Reebok, a ’90s-era raver style design. Pretty cool.
In addition to his rising musical career, Machine Gun Kelly has also grabbed a series of film and television roles to add his acting credentials (including his breakout appearance in 2014's Beyond the Lights). Kelly can also be seen later this year in the upcoming sci-fi movie Captive State, starring John Goodman
Machine Gun Kelly also recently took to Twitter to comment on his upcoming project. To say he was somewhat excited, would be an understatement. “And it’s finally announced,” Machine Gun Kelly captioned a casting announcement. “Excuse me for being crass but…HOLY F***ING SH*T!!!!!!!”
Wales actor Iwan Rheon joins the Mötley Crüe biopic The Dirt to play lead guitarist, Mick Mars.
Rheon gained a large following for his portrayal as the deliciously evil villain, Ramsay Bolton, for four years on the hugely successful HBO series Game Of Thrones. More recently, he scored another high-profile role, playing Maximus on ABC's Marvel show The Inhumans. Just like his fellow co-star Machine Gun Kelly, Rheon has an actual musical background, too. This singer-songwriter has released a trio of EPs, and then his debut album, Dinard, in 2015.
Motley Crue was an American Glam Metal era band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1981. The group was founded by bassist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee, who were later joined by guitarist Mick Mars, and vocalist Vince Neil. Their music has been described as a mix of the New York Dolls glam-punk, fused with Van Halen pop-metal. The band has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, including 25 million albums in the United States, making it one of the best-selling bands of all time. They had two top 10 hit songs and an additional thirteen songs in Billboard's top 100, which included the breakthrough smash Dr. Feelgood peaking at #6 in 1989 and Without You which also peaked at #8 in 1990, both cracking Billboard's top 10. Other Honorable Motley Crue mentions include the hit singles, Girls, Girls, Girls, Smokin' In The Boys Room, Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away), and Kickstart My Heart all in Billboard's Top 100. The Crue had completely invaded and dominated MTV, radio and the Billboard charts all in heavy rotation.
To put it simply, they were everywhere.
But it wasn't just their hit songs that they became known for. The members of the band were just as famous for their wild and crazy world of backstage scandals, Punch-outs, drunken antics, numerous brushes with the law, spending time in prison, and suffering from alcoholism and rollercoaster drug addictions and even cheating death until the group finally disbanded in 2015.
But as we said before, Mötley Crüe doesn't die easily.
In 2001, Motley Crue released the bestselling autobiography titled, The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band—penned with rock chronicler extraordinaire, New York Times journalist, Neil Strauss, that definitely set a new bar for rock 'n' roll memoirs. This turbo-charged blockbuster, with more than half a million copies in print told us, in page after reckless page, that no band has ever lived this hard, and lived to tell the tale. Joe Levy, a Contributing Editor at Rolling Stone Magazine called The Dirt, "Without a doubt . . . the most detailed account of the awesome pleasures and perils of rock & roll stardom I have ever read. It is completely compelling and utterly revolting."
The book delivers all of the uncensored, sometimes shockingly raw details of the band's rise to the top of the '80s rock scene, chronicling their ascent from the streets of Hollywood to the heights of international fame, while conquering drug addiction and personal demons on their way toward redemption.
The Dirt became a bestseller and spawned talk of a movie adaption early on, but it has taken years for the film to finally come together.
Ten years after The Dirt was even published, Motley Crue Bassist Nikki Sixx told Rolling Stone the movie will be "a cross between Goodfellas and Boogie Nights." Sixx also said that while it would be an honor to have well-known actors in the roles of bandmates Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars, and himself, it might be easier for the fans to “absorb” Motley Crue’s story, if they’re not focused on the stars of the movie.
It was finally confirmed last year that The Dirt was being made into a movie by Netflix. Right now, The Motley Crue biopic film is in the middle of production as we speak.
The New Crue: Iwan Rheon, Machine Gun Kelly, Daniel Webber & Douglas Booth
London born actor Douglas Booth is playing Crue bassist Nikki Sixx.
He has been described by Sixx as "a killer actor."
“What a Mötley Crüe!” Booth tweeted recently. “Beyond excited to play Nikki Sixx in #TheDirt with these boys. Some big boots to fill and some tight leather pants to squeeze into!”
In a recent interview, the mild-mannered actor talked about what it takes to emulate the Glam Metal bassist, "I was learning the bass guitar because I'm playing Nikki Sixx in The Dirt, the book of the Mötley Crüe story, for Netflix. It’s frenetic trying to do a crash course in bass. And it's actually quite enjoyable."
When asked if Douglas is a Motley Crue fan himself, he replied, "I wasn't growing up, because it was before my time. I was born in '92. They wreaked their havoc while I was but a twinkle in my mother's eye. But I love them now, they're so fun. And their stories, their whole thing with The Dirt, they're just so honest as human beings."
Booth went on to explain the type of music that he did listen to growing up as a kid in the early 2000s. "I used to listen to whatever I thought was cool and other people listened to. My parents had really good music tapes. Actually, in the '90s, I do remember listening to my parents' music—to this day, I get music recommendations from them. But the soundtrack to driving around in the car would be Oasis, that kind of stuff. Now, obviously, I love Oasis myself. I remember one of the first CDs that I found—must've been from my parents—and I used with the only speaker I had, just put it on repeat, was Run-DMC."
Actor Douglas Booth has already had a great deal of experience in working on a music biopic film. In 2010 he played the leading role as Culture Club frontman, Boy George in the BBC movie Worried About the Boy. The London-born actor has also starred in a large number of hit movies over the last decade. We've seen him in everything from period dramas like Great Expectations, Romeo & Juliet, Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, to big-budget films like the Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending, Pride And Prejudice And Zombies and more recently, the world's first fully painted feature film, the animated Loving Vincent. The producers of The Dirt already had Booth in mind to play Nikki Sixx when casting began in the early stages of the project.
It is Australian actor Daniel Webber that is portraying the group's frontman, singer Vince Neil.
"Truely ecstatic to announce officially I am joining the rest of the Motley Crüe cast as the one and only VINCE NEIL in the Crües upcoming film THE DIRT!!!!!!!! FU@&%%###CK YEEEAH!!!!!!" Webber posted on Instagram, hardly able to control his enthusiasm.
The 29-year-old Webber made his U.S. breakthrough by playing Lee Harvey Oswald in 11.22.63, the Hulu-produced adaptation of Stephen King's novel about a time-traveling teacher trying to stop John F. Kennedy's assassination. He has also appeared in a variation of films and television shows abroad.
Currently, Webber can be seen playing the character of Lewis Wilson, a Post-traumatic Stress Disorder-suffering soldier in Netflix's Punisher. A role in which the talented actor brought a lot of depth and fractured humanity to the performance.
The actors on set 'gettin' wiggy wit it'!
American Actor Tony Cavalero is also cast as the heavy metal icon, Ozzy Osbourne in the new Motley Crue biopic. The Dirt will mostly focus on Motley Crue's rise to fame in the 1980s, which was about the time when rocker Ozzy Osbourne was at the height of his popularity. The film will zero in on the time the Crue toured with the Black Sabbath frontman.
Originally, Cavalero had trained exclusively to be a soldier and admittedly knew absolutely nothing about acting at all. Then, his life changed courses and now he is best known for portraying Dewey Finn on Nickelodeon's School of Rock TV series. That role was originated by Jack Black in the 2003 Richard Linklater movie of the same name. He's also had recurring roles on the series' SuperMansion, Heart of Dixie, 'The Single Life and Aim High.
Also, actress Rebekah Graf (The Amityville Murders, Lycan) has just been tapped to play actress Heather Locklear, ex-wife of Tommy Lee, in the film adaptation of the Motley Crue biography.
All in all, The Dirt is shaping up to be an extremely interesting project, to say the least. And the band is involved every step of the way.
"Bringing the story of our lives to screen in just the right way isn't easy," remarked Crue Lead Guitarist, Mick Mars.
Motley Crue frontman, Vince Neil states that The Dirt movie script stays "pretty close to 'The Dirt', so if you've read 'The Dirt', it's really something to look forward to."
When asked how it struck him that he would be seeing an actor playing him on screen, Vince said: "That's gonna be strange. It's funny, I saw the table read of the last script. They have these different actors playing each person, and even just the table read of the script was weird when the Vince guy was talking. [Laughs] It wasn't the guy that's gonna play me, but it was just kind of weird hearing somebody say your words. It's a bit of a trip."
Bassist Nikki Sixx and Drummer Tommy Lee also attended a read-through of the script in 2014 with the Director Tremaine and were impressed with what they saw.
"Can I tell you it was the most fucking insanely surreal experience I've ever sat through, y'know," Crue Drummer Tommy Lee stated. "I sat through probably two hours and change of literally watching people act and play through this two-hour-plus movie of 30 years of your life that went by in two hours, and I was just like, 'What the fuck?! That's insane. This movie is insane.' Even just the way the movie starts, you're like, 'How the hell are we gonna rate this thing, triple R?'
The band has given their seal of approval to the actors cast to portray them in Netflix’s adaption of their best-selling memoir.
When asked by a fan what he thinks of the casting for The Dirt, Nikki Sixx gave a one-word response: “Perfect.” In a separate tweet on his Official Twitter profile, Sixx praised all of The Dirt actors.
"Anybody can make a shitty rock movie," observed Sixx. "We don't want to do that. A lot of people don't understand rock music and the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. It's not just sex, drugs and car crashes. Those things happen – and, in our case, more than usual. But what's at the core of it all is the creativity and the personal relationships between each band member. We don't just want to slap together the thrill moments. Any of the great movies, whether it's Walk the Line or Ray, they got the music right and the personalities right."
With cameras already rolling on the The Dirt as we speak — and a brilliant cast of actors in place — we think we're all in for one of the loudest, wildest rock band histories ever depicted onscreen.
There's currently no release date set for The Dirt, so it's not clear exactly when we can expect to see the movie arrive on Netflix, but we'll be sure at Cool Magazine to keep you up to date as more details on the project are made available. "Party hearty."
- J. Shepherd (2018)