Once the domain of low-grade TV movies, the rock biopic business is booming since Queen and Elton John’s blockbusters spiked interest in the genre. So it’s no surprise to hear that an Ozzy Osbourne biopic is in “active development” according to his son Jack. Actors’ names are already being bandied about among fans, but here are some more leftfield ideas for the casting director to chew on…
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Andy Serkis (Ozzy Osbourne)
The British actor is convincing both as Gollum - a lowly Hobbit, twisted, corrupted and addicted by Sauron’s Ring, but a strangely loveable and vulnerable audience favourite - and Ian Dury, a maverick 70s rock n’roll frontman from humble beginnings. Add a touch of the rebellious chimp Caesar from his Planet Of The Apes films, and you’ve got a perfect Ozzy. Any lack of resemblance can be covered up with CGI, as Andy is Hollywood’s king of motion capture.
Olivia Colman (Sharon Osbourne)
From playing David Mitchell’s ambitious but unstable love interest in sitcom Peep Show to portraying Queen Anne as a combination of immense power and childlike petulance in The Favourite, Oscar winner Colly can turn her hand to just about anything, but mastering those roles will have prepared her quite nicely for playing Ozzy’s fearsome missus.
Jeremy Ray Taylor (Jack Osbourne)
The wise-ass from It, Goosebumps 2 and the terrifyingly titled James Corden’s Next James Corden, JRT is surely a shoo-in to play one of the wise-asses from The Osbournes.
Robert Downey Jr (Tony Iommi)
Who else could it be but Iron Man himself? RDJ has a dark, brooding, physical presence that might work for our Tone, and the wayward actor’s very personal insight into the effects of hard drug abuse should prove useful. Yeah he’s 55, but that’s about how old Iommi looked in his late 20s.
James McAvoy (Geezer Butler)
McAvoy’s Geezer potential has already been mooted by fans, and it’s a good fit; he’s got the quiet dignity, the soulful eyes and the cheeky grin, but he’ll need to go on a strict 70s vegan diet to attain Mr Butler’s full skeletal glory, and then carry three times his body weight in wig hair and false moustache.
Lucas Till (Randy Rhoads)
Blond cutie Lucas has faced off against zombies, sea creatures, Magneto and Hannah Montana, so he should have the necessary mettle to work with the Osbournes as Ozzy’s ill-fated guitar prodigy. The actor has confessed a love of Rammstein and Mastodon, so he has the necessary metal too.
Tom Hardy (Don Arden)
Hardy already did the method actor weight gain thing for his portrayal of barking mad British jailbird Charles Bronson), who better to portray Sharon’s fearsome father and Sabbath’s hard-as-nails manager than the guy who played both Kray twins? He seems to excel in shady gangster roles, so Tom should be well acquainted with Mr Arden’s business practices, like throwing rivals out of windows and setting vicious dogs onto his own pregnant daughter.
Tom Cruise & Meryl Streep (Jack & Lillian Osbourne)
They’re the most famous and lauded actors of their generation, both much celebrated for their versatility, so let’s see how well Hollywood’s golden pair fare parachuted in for an extended cameo as a penniless working class couple from post-war industrial Birmingham. Just getting the accents right should take a few years of in-depth training from a preposterously expensive voice coach, when they could have just hung out in Aston Cross bus station for a few days.