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Danny Boyle to direct TV series about the Sex Pistols

Danny Boyle will direct the TV series Pistol (Ian West/PA)
Danny Boyle will direct the TV series Pistol (Ian West/PA)

Danny Boyle will direct a TV series about the Sex Pistols based on guitarist Steve Jones’s memoir, it has been announced.

Pistol will be a six-episode limited series starring Babyteeth actor Toby Wallace and Game Of Thrones actress Maisie Williams.

Created by Craig Pearce and written by Pearce and Frank Cottrell Boyce, it will be based on the book Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol.

The sex Pistols – Rehearsal
The Sex Pistols, from left to right; Steve Jones, John Lydon, Glen Matlock and Paul Cook (Andy Butterton/PA)

Boyle, whose previous films include Trainspotting, 28 Days Later and Slumdog Millionaire, will also serve as executive producer.

He said: “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.

“This is the moment that British society and culture changed forever. 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.

6th January – On this Day in History – 1977
The Sex Pistols in 1977, with the group’s manager Malcolm McLaren (PA)

“At its centre was a young, charming, illiterate kleptomaniac – a hero for the times – Steve Jones, who became in his own words, the 94th greatest guitarist of all time. This is how he got there.”

Wallace will play Jones while 1917 actor Anson Boon will play John Lydon and Louis Partridge will play Sid Vicious. Williams will play the punk model Jordan.

Jacob Slater will star as Paul Cook, Fabien Frankel will play Glen Matlock, Dylan Llewellyn will appear as Wally Nightingale, while Sydney Chandler will play The Pretenders star Chrissie Hynde and Emma Appleton will play Nancy Spungen.

Sid Vicioius – Court Hearing
Sid Vicious and girlfriend Nancy Spungen (PA)

The series, which was commissioned by US network FX, moves from west London’s council estates, to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s notorious Kings Road SEX shop, to the international controversy that came with the release of Never Mind The Bollocks and cemented the band, formed in 1975, as one of the most notorious British bands of all time.

Pundits credit them with inspiring the punk rock movement, and charismatic frontman Lydon, known as Johnny Rotten, became known for his raucous behaviour.

The Sex Pistols wrote punk hits including Anarchy In The UK and God Save The Queen, a subversive take on the national anthem which was banned by the BBC and reached the top spot on the UK’s NME chart, but appeared at number two on the official UK singles chart, leading to accusations that the song was purposely kept off the top spot.

For the only time in chart history, the track was listed as a blank, to avoid offence to the monarchy.

Vicious, who replaced Matlock in the band, died from a heroin overdose in 1979, after being released on bail for the alleged murder of girlfriend Spungen.

Their relationship is dramatised in the 1986 film Sid And Nancy, starring Gary Oldman.

Nick Grad, president of original programming at FX Entertainment, said: “It’s great to be back in business with Danny Boyle, an exceptional artist responsible for so many great feature films and TV series.

“Steve Jones was at the centre of the storm that shook the rock establishment and we’re thrilled to have Danny and the rest of the creative team tell his story as a member of one of music’s most notorious bands – the Sex Pistols.”

The show is set to begin production on March 7.

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