Can Gladiator Director Ridley Scott Give Us A Music Biopic That Doesn’t Suck?


Sir Ridley Scott has a legendary career as a director, getting involved in all sorts of genres. One thing the Oscar-nominated director hasn’t done yet is direct a musical, even a musical biopic. Granted, he’s directed plenty of biographical pictures, like the recent “Napoleon” historical epic, and he has directed one music video in the past, for Roxy Music’s “Avalon” in 1982.

The problem with a Bee Gees biopic is the same problem as any other biopic in recent years — while they occasionally make money (as is happening now with “Bob Marley: One Love”), creatively, they’re mostly boring retreads of the same formula we’ve seen dozens of times before. This is an unfortunate issue seemingly inherent to the genre, which tends to lean toward safe, familiar tropes and let audiences relieve musical moments rather than deliver insightful narratives away from the songs. It doesn’t help that the genre has already been perfectly parodied in “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story,” making most new attempts at music biopics feel derivative at best and DOA at worst.

That being said, the few that have managed to stand out are ones where the director has a clear and distinct vision — like Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis.” If we’re lucky, a director like Ridley Scott, who has a personal connection to the subjects of this story and who is reuniting with screenwriter John Logan (“Gladiator,” “Alien: Covenant”), just might be able to crack the code.

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