In the most exciting news for punk fans since the invention of the safety pin, Danny Boyle is making a new TV series based on the life of Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones. Pistol is a six-part series directed and exec-produced by the Trainspotting director that’s based on Jones’s memoir, ‘Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol’.
Jones, the self-professed 94th greatest guitarist of all time, was band mates with lead singer Johnny Rotten, drummer Paul Cook, and first bassist Glen Matlock, then Sid Vicious, in a punk band that ripped up the rule book, set fire to it and then chucked the ashes into the face of the British establishment from 1975 onwards.
Jones is played by Babyteeth star Toby Wallace, while Anson Boon steps into Johnny Rotten’s George Cox creepers. Louis Partridge (Enola Homes) plays Sid Vicious, Jacob Slater is Paul Cook, while The Serpent’s Fabien Frankel is Glen Matlock. Look out, too, for Sydney Chandler as Chrissie Hynde, Emma Appleton (The Witcher) as Nancy Spungen, and Maisie Williams as punk icon Jordan.
Jones’s book came out in 2018 to rave reviews – The Guardian critic described it as ‘eye-wateringly funny’ – as it set about mythbusting, swearily reminiscing, and loosely mapping an iconic moment in British culture and society.
There’s a tonne of material, in other words, for co-writers Craig Pearce and Frank Cottrell Boyce to get their teeth into as they chart the story from west London council estates to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s Kings Road SEX shop, to the release of the band’s seminal album ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’.
‘Imagine breaking into the world of The Crown and Downton 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 forever. It is the detonation point for British street culture. At its centre was a young charming illiterate kleptomaniac – a hero for the times – Steve Jones. This is how he got there.’
The news also solves the mystery of this casting call at the end of last year, requesting men and women aged 18-28 with outrageous hair.
US TV network FX is producing the show, so expect to see it on Disney Plus’s Star channel in the months ahead.
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