KISS biopic will focus on band's first four years, says longtime manager
KISS’s longtime manager Doc McGhee spoke to Talking Metal about the band’s upcoming biopic “Shout It Out Loud”. The film, which recently landed at Netflix, will be directed by Joachim Rønning, the Norwegian filmmaker whose credits include “Kon-Tiki”, “Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil” and “Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”. The script is written by Ole Sanders.
“Actually, we have a script that’s completely done,” Doc said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). “Mark Canton, who is a very, very powerful producer and production company who has the TV series ‘Power’ and ‘Ghost’ and all that stuff, and he was a president of Sony and all that, he’s done 300 films — a really, really great guy — his team and Universal Music and ourselves have partnered up with Joachim Rønning, who is a very sought-after director that did things like ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’, and ‘Kon-Tiki’ was up for an Academy Award. And the script is about the first four years of KISS. Basically, it’s before they were famous — it was up to Cadillac High, that kind of thing,” referring to the October 1975 concert KISS played in a high school gym in Cadillac, Michigan. “And I think it’s a very interesting look at the formation of KISS, the mindset of how that came about, the social pressure that everybody was in in the ’60s and ’70s that brought something like KISS to the forefront, that it could actually happen. So it’s a very interesting, and I think it’s a well-written movie. And our partners right now is Netflix. It’ll be a theatrical release, then Netflix.”
According to Doc, casting hasn’t started yet. “We’re finishing our deal with a couple of distributors in Europe and the U.S., and then we’ll get into casting,” he said. “I believe before Thanksgiving we’ll be in the casting.”
Earlier this year, KISS frontman Paul Stanley told Download host Kylie Olsson that the KISS biopic was “definitely happening. And that’s gonna be really interesting,” he said. “The script was really good. And we really waited until we felt comfortable.
“Look, you get once chance to do it, and I would rather not do it than do it half assed or poorly,” he explained. “Our director is the real deal. He did ‘Maleficent 2’, and he’s not some hack; he knows how to make movies. It should be great. Casting hasn’t begun yet. But that will be interesting too.”
Asked which actor he would like to play him in the movie, Stanley said: “And I will tell you this: for casting to be accurate in terms of age, we are looking at actors in their early 20s. Honestly, I don’t know a whole lot of actors in their early 20s. When people get asked these kinds of questions, they’ll say, ‘Oh, Brad Pitt,’ or this one or that one. Well, those guys are in their 50s or 60s, so you’re talking about another generation of actors. And I’m the first to say I’m not up on a lot of them. But as the casting process goes on, I’ll certainly be there and watching. It’ll be interesting to see how someone else — be it the casting people or the director — how they view who I am and who they see doing that. I think I’ll learn a lot about their perception of me by who they cast.”
“Shout It Out Loud”, which will have close cooperation from bandleaders Stanley and Gene Simmons, will be a co-production of Canton‘s Atmosphere Entertainment and Universal Music Group. The film will be produced by Canton through his Atmosphere Entertainment, Leigh Ann Burton through Opus 7, Courtney Solomon, David Blackman and Jody Gerson through Universal Music Group, McGhee through his McGee Entertainment, Rønning, and Simmons and Stanley. Atmosphere‘s Dorothy Canton and David Hopwood are the executive producers.
KISS launched its farewell trek in January 2019 but was forced to put it on hold last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“End Of The Road” was originally scheduled to conclude on July 17, 2021 in New York City but is now expected to last well into 2022.
KISS’s current lineup consists of original members Stanley and Simmons, alongside later band additions, guitarist Tommy Thayer (since 2002) and drummer Eric Singer (on and off since 1991).
Formed in 1973 by Stanley, Simmons, drummer Peter Criss and lead guitarist Ace Frehley, KISS staged its first “farewell” tour in 2000, the last to feature the group’s original lineup.
Netflix previously had rock-biopic success with MÖTLEY CRÜE‘s “The Dirt”, which premiered in March 2019. An adaptation of the book of the same name about the iconic rock band, it had been in the works since 2003. It was previously set up at Paramount and Focus Features before Netflix picked it up in 2017.
“The Dirt”, which reportedly cost more than $20 million to produce, currently has a 38% critic score from 72 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, the online review aggregation service that allows both critics and the public to rate movies. The same site has an 94% audience score for “The Dirt” from more than 6,000 reviews.