We're living in the golden age of entertainment thanks to a great selection of TV and film streaming services (opens in new tab) – and it seems there are more popping up every other week.
While superhero flicks, crime thrillers and way too many Ryan Reynolds' movies seem to populate these platforms, it appears Netflix (opens in new tab), Disney+ (opens in new tab) and Amazon Prime (opens in new tab) have set their sights firmly on the music biopic, with each service routinely announcing a new movie or mini-series based on the memoirs of a larger-than-life rock star.
Now, this might not be a bad strategy. Critics and fans alike seemed to enjoy Disney's retelling of the infamous escapades of Johnny Rotten and co. in Pistol as well as Motley Crue's The Dirt, while the critical response to Pam and Tommy was fairly positive for the most part. Of course, we can't forget that Bohemian Rhapsody (opens in new tab) and Rocketman managed to rack up an impressive number of awards between them.
Couple this with the newly released Elvis movie, Spinning Gold, the story of Neil Bogart, the Casablanca Records founder who signed Kiss (opens in new tab), as well as the recently announced Ramones project with Pete Davidson in the lead role, and it's clear to see there is definitely an appetite for this type of content.
While we're happy to see any representation of rock and metal on the big or small screen, we feel some stories are being overlooked. So today, we'll break down the 13 bands that we believe deserve their own mini-series and what era of their career should be the focus. So without further ado, let's dive into an alternative reality where we call the shots at our own streaming service.
1. David Bowie. Working title: Starman
David Bowie (opens in new tab) was a unique human being with a career that spanned decades, so we don't think a feature-length movie could do his story justice. Instead, a mini-series would be the best option to ensure his extensive and varied career was covered in the detail it deserves.
Known as a sonic chameleon, Bowie was constantly reinventing, not only himself, but also his sound. So what better way to explore his astonishing life than to dedicate an entire episode to each of Bowie's beloved alter egos? If we go for the typical six-episode format that seems to be popular on Disney+, then episode one would set the scene by exploring Bowie's early years trying to break into the music industry, with the episode ending with the release of the 1967 self-titled album.
Episode two would pick up with Ziggy Stardust (opens in new tab) in 1972 and dive into how Bowie had changed and embraced his new glam-rock persona. Subsequent episodes would delve into his Thin White Duke phase and recording of Station to Station, with episode four jumping forward to his Berlin years.
The fifth instalment would see Bowie try to reinvent himself again in the mid-90s, while the final episode would tackle Blackstar and his ongoing health issues. Of course, this series would be ripe for other famous faces to appear from Paul McCartney to Rod Steward, and heck, we could even give Harry Styles a shot at playing a young Mick Jagger.
Probability score: 8/10: It seems there are always rumblings of a Bowie biopic in the ether, and with 2020’s Stardust only managing to muster a measly 22% on Rotten Tomatoes, it's about time someone took the helm and created a mini-series that is worthy of the Bowie name.
2. Metallica. Working title: Seek & Destroy
We've seen a glimpse inside the Metallica camp in Some Kind Of Monster, but let's be frank, we don't think anyone really wanted to be a fly on the wall when Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield were arguing about a drum part sounding "stock" or whether or not a track needs a guitar solo. Rather than seeing the world's most famous metal band at a low point in their illustrious career, we'd much rather see a young and hungry Metallica in their infancy tearing up the LA thrash scene.
Set in the early 1980s, this mini-series would chronicle the band's inception, landing their first record deal with Megaforce Records and recording Kill' Em All in New York. We'd like to see a series that focuses on the interpersonal relationships between the band members, the friction between Dave Mustaine and the rest of the group, as well as the part alcohol played in the early stages of this mega band's career.
Of course, we'd also love to see other Bay Area thrash bands from this era pop up, such as Exodus and Testament.
Probability score: 7/10 On the surface this one looks incredibly unlikely, but then again if any band has the finances to produce their own mini-series Metallica is that band. Come on, they make Metallica branded wrapping paper, for god sake, at least a series makes sense - and hey the Metallica boys now have contacts at Netflix thanks to Stranger Things, so it might happen!
3. Fleetwood Mac. Working title: Yesterday's Gone
There aren't many bands out there as dysfunctional as Fleetwood Mac. Still, despite their toxic relationships, they still managed to stop either fighting or sleeping with one another long enough to record one of the greatest albums ever made: 1977's Rumours.
Why is it that we all love to watch dramas unfold on screen? Well, whatever the reason, Fleetwood Mac certainly has drama in spades. Their relationship problems and constant bickering are straight out of a soap opera, and now that it is firmly in the past - well, sort of - it would make for a rather entertaining series.
We're dying to see a tight biopic that purely focuses on the recording process of the band's pivotal album Rumours, with an emphasis on the tensions between the group. This would be a series full of sex, betrayal, drugs and most importantly, brilliant music!
Probability score: 8/10 This has to be one of the most requested biopics ever, and while Stevie Nicks isn’t keen on a Fleetwood Mac movie, fearing it would be too long, maybe the singer would be more open to the idea of a limited mini-series?
4. Slipknot. Working title: Tattered & Torn
It's hard to imagine what the metal landscape would look like if Slipknot hadn't unleashed their specific brand of masked madness. In the early 1990s, the band wasn't just hungry for success but looking to cause as much chaos as they possibly could. This led them to develop quite the reputation in the underground metal community, with their high octane shows becoming the stuff of legend.
Now, try and say you wouldn't want to see a series that followed the rise of Iowa's most outrageous band. With wicked tales of drunken debauchery, mass brawls and some less-than family-friendly activities, this show would be pure madness in the best possible way.
On a side note, we hope Griffin Parker Taylor has some acting chops, as he's the perfect option to play his father in the show. Come on, he looks more like Corey Taylor than Corey Taylor himself!
Probability score: 5/10 Yeah, we admit that this one is very unlikely. A series on Slipknot isn’t going to have mass appeal, and that’s something that makes the suits at Amazon, Netflix and Disney nervous. So we guess, we’ll just have to keep dreaming about this one.
5. Green Day. Working Title: Welcome to Paradise
While Green Day's story may be a little more wholesome when compared to that of Fleetwood Mac or Slipknot, it isn't any less important. The pop-punk trio went from being the local heroes of the Northern California underground punk scene to becoming ostracised by the very people that they thought of as their extended family - all because they hit the big time.
For this biopic, we'd love to see it start with the band becoming more and more well-known in the local scene, generating a cult following with the release of their first three EPs. We imagine the series would take a turn at the halfway mark as the power trio sign with Reprise Records and release the mainstream smash that is Dookie.
The latter half of the show would explore how the band would deal with their newfound success, as well as the hatred they faced from their early fans, who banned them from playing the iconic punk venue, 924 Gilman Street.
Oh, and while we're talking about Green Day, one of the big streaming platforms should really greenlight a TV adaptation of American Idiot, right? Come on, guys, what are you waiting for?
Probability score: 6/10 Green Day are one of the most popular bands in the world, with a career that spans decades - and a fair share of mainstream success sprinkled in - so this one isn’t out of the realms of possibility. Of course, pop-punk seems to be having a nostalgic resurgence, becoming the new dad rock, so now might be the best time to tell this story.
6. Nirvana. Working Title: In Bloom
While it would be tempting to have a show depicting the tragic events of the Nirvana story, truthfully, we believe there's been enough written about that mournful event to last a lifetime. Instead, we pitch a show based on the fabulous book Nirvana - A Tour Diary: My Life on the Road with One of the Greatest Bands of All Time (opens in new tab) by Andy Bollen.
Our dream Nirvana series would follow the day-to-day life of a group who are on the brink of mega-stardom, showing the struggles every band deals with on the road. Its UK setting would also make it stand out from other Nirvana documentaries that focus on the far more obvious Seattle scene.
The first few episodes would show the band touring small clubs and the student unions of the UK, slowly realising the crowds are not only getting bigger but more intense. In contrast, the later episodes would deal with the band being thrust into playing arena shows as grunge goes mainstream.
Probability score: 4/10 It saddens us to say, but this is a story we are doubtful to see hit the small screen. The mainstream media seem to be more concerned with Kurt Cobain's suicide or showing a glamorised version of 90's Seattle, and frankly, that's not what we want to see.
7. Ozzy Osbourne. Working title: Diary Of A Madman
It's fair to say Ozzy Osbourne was in a somewhat fragile state in the early '80s, and that's where our Ozzy series would kick off. Having just split with Black Sabbath, this six-parter would show Ozzy - with help from his wife and manager Sharon - dealing with a bruised ego and spiralling drug addiction as the Prince Of Darkness tries to get his career back on track.
This series would give new context to some of the infamous antics of Ozzy and showcase how he successfully put together a new solo band that became a formidable rival to a continuing Black Sabbath.
Of course, we all know that tragedy would ultimately strike in the form of a terrible plane crash that would kill Randy Rhoads and two other members of the band's entourage. The series could show how this horrific event forever changed Ozzy, shining new light on the dark past of a metal icon.
Who could play Sharon and Ozzy? Well, Jack Kilmer and Jessica Barden gave a good account of these larger-than-life personalities in Ozzy's Under The Graveyard video in 2019, so it would be pretty cool to see them reprise those roles and expand upon them.
Probability score: 9/10 It will come as no surprise that Ozzy and Sharon announced a biopic in 2020. Still, there are no details of which era of the Prince Of Darkness it will focus on - here’s hoping they are reading this for inspiration.
8. Misfits. Working Title: Teenagers From Mars
The Glenn Danzig-fronted horror punk outfit Misfits really deserve to have their story told - they are, after all, more than just an iconic t-shirt design. Set in the dingy clubs of a late '70s New Jersey, this series would explore how the band came up with their unique style and sound.
Recounting the story of an early Misfits swapping the trademark to Danzig's Blank Records to Mercury Records in exchange for "free" studio time, this mini-series would focus on the recording of Static Age in 1978, an album which wouldn't see a full release until nearly two decades later.
Showcasing how the band crafted their distinctive sound and ghoulish style, this show would be pure spectacle, and we'd love to see it. As an aside, can we just take a minute to think about how good the opening credits would look for a Misfits TV show? Surely it's worth green-lighting it just for that alone?
Probability score: 3/10 It’s safe to say this one will never happen. Yes, the Misfits are a popular band - or should we say brand - but how many people care about their story?
9. Red Hot Chili Peppers. Working title: Suck My Kiss
Red Hot Chili Peppers have managed to fall victim to every rock'n'roll cliche you can think of but they've still managed to stay relevant decades after they found success - and not a lot of bands can say that.
We'd love to see a fast-paced, energetic series that tries to keep up with the force of nature that is a young Chilis, as they funk their way around the City of Angels.
The obvious era to follow the band would be in the mid-80s, at the height of their struggles with substance abuse and the death of Hillel Slovak. However, while this would make for interesting viewing, we'd love to see a series set just before this, focusing instead on their passion for music and drive to succeed.
Probability score: 6/10 We could see this one happening. RHCP are riding high again, John Frusciante is back and the band are at the forefront of people’s minds. This would be the perfect time to get this mini-series off the ground. We wonder if Flea had a chat with the House Of Mouse when he popped in to film his short stint on Obi-Wan Kenobi (opens in new tab)?
10. Rainbow Bar & Grill. Working title: Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Right, okay, this isn't a band or artist, but stay with us. The Rainbow Bar & Grill is an institution and was often frequented by some of the biggest names in rock, including Lemmy, Alice Cooper, Axl Rose, David Lee Roth, Keith Moon and Ringo Starr. In the '70s and '80s, this colourful hangout was the place to go if you were a bona fide rock star.
So imagine a Cheers-style sitcom set in this legendary venue. We can't help but get excited about all the hilarious stories that this beloved club could tell, and not to mention the who's who of bands and artists that could be featured.
From rock royalty punch-ups to iconic bands forming, this show could be a light-hearted retelling of what the Sunset Strip was like in the early '80s, as told through the lens of one of the most famous rock'n'roll bars of all time.
Oh, and everyone must shout "Lemmy" every time the Motorhead frontman enters the bar or we're not watching it.
Probability score: 1/10 This one is pure fantasy on our part, and while there has been the odd documentary about this legendary venue including The Rainbow on Amazon Prime (opens in new tab), we don’t think anyone would sink money into a rock sitcom - although they totally should.
11. Led Zeppelin. Working title: Good Times Bad Times
Led Zeppelin are one of the most influential bands of all time, so it's no wonder that fans have been screaming out for a biopic for decades - and with tales of legendary concerts, a private jet with its very own fireplace and star-studded parties, you can see why.
Despite their reputation as one of the most prominent bands to ever exist, Led Zeppelin were only active for a relatively short time. This means you could easily cover the band's entire career within a 10-episode series on Netflix.
One of our biggest gripes with both Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman was that their stories felt too condensed and rushed to fit within the confines of the standard film running time. But with Zeppelin only being active for 12 years, there would be plenty of room for this series to breathe while giving fans a peek behind the curtain of one of the most talked-about bands in music history.
Probability score: 8/10 We strongly believe we'll see this series in our lifetime. Guitarist Jimmy Page has spoken about the possibility of at least a movie in recent years, and with the swing towards series in today's media, it just makes sense for them to go down this route instead.
12. AC/DC. Working title: It’s A Long Way To The Top
If the Led Zep story was a sprint, then the Aussie rockers tale is six marathons back to back. It's hard to think of a time when AC/DC wasn't around, releasing hit after hit and playing to sold-out stadiums every night of the week.
Obviously, there is no way to cover the band's incredibly long career in a single series, but a series focusing on the humble beginnings of this electrifying band and their early misadventures would be a delight to see.
We'd love to see Malcolm Young be the point of view character in this series, as for us, he is AC/DC. Not to mention he's always portrayed as the level-headed group member, so seeing his reactions to the hijinx of Bon Scott and Angus Young would be TV gold.
Probability score: 6/10 There's a chance this series could happen, but there's also a possibility that the TV suits may feel the AC/DC story is just too massive to tackle. We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed that we see it one day.
13. Rammstein. Working title: Reise, Reise
The Rammstein story would undoubtedly strike a different tone when compared to the glitz and glamour of the American origin stories we are used to. From fleeing to West Germany to start a band to embracing their European roots, this series could give us a completely different look at this pyrotechnic-loving industrial metal band.
Obviously, we'd like to see the early development of Rammstein, focusing on the Berlin metal scene of the late '90s and early noughties. The series could then evolve, showing Till Lindemann and the band getting more and more recognition outside of Europe and being embraced by an American audience.
We know there is the documentary Rammstein In Amerika (opens in new tab) already out there, but this series would allow the fans to get a first-person perspective of a German band trying to make its mark on the world of metal.
Probability score: 4/10 This one is a long shot. While Rammstein are a popular band, they don't have the mass appeal of bands like AC/DC or Fleetwood Mac, so for that reason, we can't see this one happening any time soon.