Motley Crue gears up for biopic, “The Dirt”

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Several days ago, news outlets and social media were abuzz with speculation about Motley Crue’s possible connection with the Super Bowl. For just a moment, some fans thought that perhaps the metal band would be the second performing act at half-time. However, all logic seems to point to the band gearing up for new music for the band’s new biopic, “Dirt.”

On New Year’s Day, it was reported by Blabbermouth.net that the band tweeted “02.03.19 #ad.” The group added “Happy Crue too [sic] all the #Cr├╝eheads around the world. 2019 is going to be EPIC!”

Motley Crue, “The Dirt”

As some audiences are aware, “Dirt” is also the name of the band’s biography. The book’s full title is “The Dirt–Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band.” Rumors about the movie surfaced months ago when it was revealed by several news outlets that rapper Machine Gun Kelly had been selected to play drummer Tommy Lee in a Motley Crue biopic.

According to Blabbermouth.net, the movie is slated for release in March. This after being placed with its third company for development. The development is a bit of news all by itself. “The Dirt” had first been slated for development by Focus, then Paramount, and now, as has been reported, the film has been picked up by Netflix.

With the streaming service breaking records for a film’s first week of release, the pairing with Netflix could be a smart one for Motley Crue and their movie. In addition, arguably, the streaming services, Hulu and Netflix, have done a more than adequate job at bringing music-oriented programming to subscribers.

That the veteran metal band is teasing an ad for the Super Bowl is exciting. In fact, it is one of few Super Bowl ads that is generating buzz among interested viewers.

While news of Machine Gun Kelly playing Tommy Lee is a little bit older than some of the other pieces of news about the film, the casting for the other band members has been completed as well. Daniel Webber is slated to play singer Vince Neil, Douglas Booth will play Nikki Sixx and Iwan Rheon is scheduled to depict Mick Mars.

That Motley Crue is the subject of a film is not terribly shocking. After the band’s retirement from touring in 2015, the final tour was captured in a film called “The End” that was released in 2016.

Motley Crue and the relevance of hard rock and heavy metal

Motley Crue teasing a Super Bowl ad, after having been the subject of more than one book, a tour film and having grossed multiple millions of dollars in sales, is significant in a culture that continues to question the validity of rock music in its various forms.

Fans of Motley Crue are already familiar with the band’s singles that changed the profile of so-called glam metal in the early 1980s. The band was one of a handful of American metal bands that made the most of the medium of video. From the earliest days of Music Television, Motley Crue shook up the sound of rock and roll. With songs like “Looks That Kill,” “Too Young To Fall In Love” and “Home Sweet Home,” the band took risks and they paid off.

In some ways, “The Dirt” marks the end of an era. However, dedicated fans will find a small arsenal of videos, films and books, not to mention recordings that will remind them of what made Motley Crue the institution they became.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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