Danny Boyle got his chance to explore the mod rock icons the Beatles with Yesterday, and now he’s shooting straight for ’70s punk rock with Pistol, an FX limited series that follows the life of Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones.
FX announced that it has ordered Boyle’s Pistol, a six-episode limited series about the Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones based on Jones’ 2018 memoir Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol. Boyle will direct and executive produce the series, which was created by Craig Pearce and written by Pearce and Frank Cottrell Boyce.
Here is the synopsis for Pistol, per the press release:
Pistol moves from West London’s council estates, to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s notorious Kings Road SEX shop, to the international controversy that came with the release of Never Mind the Bollocks, which is frequently listed as one of the most influential albums of all time. Their single ‘God Save the Queen’ was banned by the BBC and reached Number 1 on the UK’s NME chart, but appeared at Number 2 on the Official UK Singles chart, leading to accusations that the song was purposely kept off the top spot. For the only time in chart history, the track was listed as a blank, to avoid offence to the monarchy.
Pistol stars Toby Wallace (Babyteeth) as Steve Jones, Anson Boon (Crawl) as John Lydon, Louis Partridge (Enola Homes) as Sid Vicious, Jacob Slater as Paul Cook, Fabien Frankel (The Serpent) as Glen Matlock, Dylan Llewellyn (Derry Girls) as Wally Nightingale, Sydney Chandler (Don’t Worry Darling) as Chrissie Hynde, Emma Appleton (The Witcher) as Nancy Spungen, and Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) as “punk icon” Jordan.
“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 FX programming president Nick Grad, having previously worked with Boyle on the 2018 true-life drama Trust. “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.”
Added Boyle, “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. 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.”
Boyle’s last collaboration with FX was the drama series Trust, created by Simon Beaufoy, which recounts the abduction of then-heir to Getty Oil, John Paul Getty III. Boyle directed a handful of episodes, and appears to have enjoyed collaborating with the cable network (as well as enjoying his time making movies and shows based around famous musicians, considering his last feature film, 2018’s Yesterday).
Jones and Pearce also serve executive producers alongside Boyle, as well as Gail Lyon, Anita Camarata, Tracey Seaward, Paul Lee, Hope Hartman and wiip. The series is produced by FX Productions and is set to begin production on March 7, 2021.
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