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John Lydon calls Danny Boyle’s forthcoming Sex Pistols drama ‘disrespectful s**t’

Sex Pistols
(Image credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Ex-Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon has criticised British film director Danny Boyle for shooting a TV biopic based on the rise and fall of his former band without his consent or participation.

In a new interview with The Sunday Times, Lydon describes Pistol, which is based on guitarist Steve Jones’ 2016 autobiography Lonely Boy, as “disrespectful shit.”

Announcing the series in January, Trainspotting / Slumdog Millionaire / 28 Days Later film-maker Boyle said of Pistol: “Imagine breaking into the world of The Crown and Downtown Abbey with your mates and screaming your songs and your fury at all they represent,” says Boyle. “This is the moment that British society and culture changed for ever.  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 and listen.....and everyone feared them or followed them. The Sex Pistols.”

Lydon, however, seems distinctly unimpressed by the director’s love letter to the iconic London punks he fronted.

“I think that’s the most disrespectful shit I’ve ever had to endure,” Lydon says. “I mean, they went to the point to hire an actor to play me but what’s the actor working on? Certainly not my character. It can’t go anywhere else [but court].”

Speaking as if addressing Boyle directly, Lydon added, “Sorry, you think you can do this, like walk all over me – it isn’t going to happen. Not without a huge, enormous fucking fight. I’m Johnny, you know, and when you interfere with my business you’re going to get the bitter end of my business as a result. It’s a disgrace.”

A spokesperson for Pistol told The Sunday Times that Boyle did, in fact, contact Lydon’s management company about the planned series but “ultimately direct contact was declined.”

No broadcast date has yet been set for Pistol.