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Netflix Digs Into Motley Crue Biopic ‘Dirt’

Deadline logo Deadline 3/24/2017 Anthony D'Alessandro
© Provided by Deadline

Netflix is in talks to make a movie about the rise of 1980s heavy metal band Motley Crue. Dirt is based on the New York Times bestseller The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band, which was written by Crue members Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx and author Neil Strauss. The bandmembers also will serve as co-producers on the Netflix film.

The script is being penned by Rich Wilkes and Californication creator Tom Kapinos, the latter a die-hard fan of ’70s and ’80s rock music. Quite often storylines on Californication involved author protagonist Hank Moody (David Duchovny) intersecting with the crazed, late-night life of Hollywood’s music biz.

Dirt previously was being developed at Focus, and prior to that at Paramount.

The book details the full spectrum of Motley Crue’s excess with drugs, high-heeled boots, makeup and celebrity love affairs. The band formed in Los Angeles in January 1981 and went to sell more than 100 million records worldwide, with a quarter of that coming from the U.S. The quartet gained famed by playing at the US Festival in 1983, but their careers ratcheted up when they caught the attention of Ozzy Osbourne, who also was on the US Fest’s “Heavy Metal Sunday” bill and made them his opening act on his 1984 world tour.

What didn’t these guys go through? By 1984, Neil was in a head-on car collision, charged with DUI and vehicular manslaughter after his passenger, Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley, was killed. Sixx weathered a heroin overdose in December 1987 and was declared legally dead for two minutes. The paramedic, a Motley Crue fan, revived him, spawning inspiration for the 1989 hit “Kickstart My Heart.” There were multiple falling outs, with Neil leaving the band from 1992-97, followed by Lee quitting in 1999 and forming the rap-metal hybrid band Methods of Mayhem and Sixx working on side projects like 58Brides of Destruction and later Sixx:A.M. Motley Crue wound up reuniting in 2005 for a tour and the album Red, White & Crue. It took them two years to retire, with a concert run that lasted for a full two years from 2014 through a Las Vegas residency to their last concert on December 31, 2015, at LA’s Staples Center.

Jackass’ Jeff Tremaine will direct while Julie Yorn, Erik Olsen and Allen Kovac are producing. EPs are Chris Nilsson, Steve Kline and Rick Yorn.

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