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The Ramones are one of the most influential rock bands to ever bash out a three-chord gem, but their use in film has been — let’s face it — pretty mediocre. I’ve always wanted to see someone cut some really smashing sequences to Ramones songs, but that has been a rare event. That’s about to change, because Martin Scorsese is reportedly planning to make a Ramones movie. That means we might see a sequence in which Thelma Schoonmaker cuts footage to ‘Blitzkrieg Bop,’ in which case I’ll just lose my mind in the best way.
The news came out of the annual Johnny Ramone tribute in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which took place this past Sunday. Says Billboard:
The documentary is just one of several projects in the works. Among the others are a theatrical play, a book and a film, which already has Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese attached.
2014 is technically the 40th anniversary of the band, which formed when singer Joey Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone, drummer Tommy Ramone and bassist Dee Dee Ramone began playing together in 1974. But 2016 is the 40th anniversary of the band’s first LP, ‘Ramones.’ The last surviving original member of the band, Tommy, died earlier this year. Joey died in 2001; Dee Dee in 2002, and Johnny in 2004.
The management of the band’s assets has been fractured amongst competing family members. This report comes as those differences have reportedly been resolved. As the quote above makes clear, this project is not a doc, but a narrative film.
To Spin, Jeff Jampol, who manages the band’s estate, said the idea overall is to celebrate the band’s legacy in 2016, and that “authenticity is the foundation of everything.” Martin Scorsese would top the list for New York filmmakers who were contemporary at the time the Ramones were starting, and I’m excited to see what he might come up with. “Authenticity” is something he should have in his pocket ready to deploy. And The Wolf of Wall Street proves that he’s got more than enough energy to match the band.
A film about the Ramones might also mean that we’d see Scorsese replicating the early scene at CBGBs, which means there’s a place for Blondie, the Talking Heads, and so many other bands. I’m dying to see how all the music of the time will be used by one of the best teams to ever cut rock and roll into film.
So will this be a 2016 release? The Wrap says there’s no writer on board the film yet, and that Scorsese will definitely make Silence first. (Where the Shutter Island TV plan stands is uncertain.) That means 2016 might be pretty ambitious. We’re hoping this one builds momentum and keeps Scorsese, but at this point it’s too early to say what will happen.
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