The Legendary Rock Band That Almost Starred In A Clockwork Orange

It's hard to argue that there are any huge changes that need to be made to "A Clockwork Orange." It's not a perfect movie, but it's damn close. Stanley Kubrick does an excellent job bringing Anthony Burgess' novel to life. He made use of creative filmmaking techniques to achieve unique shots, the sort of practice that made Kubrick a legend among directors. The film looks fantastic and elicits strong emotions from the viewer, as a movie should.

Along with Kubrick, another vital piece of the film was Malcolm McDowell, who portrayed Alex. McDowell's turn as Alex is a career-making, if not at least money-making, performance, starting from a place of a lot of confidence and evil and slowly transitioning into the pathetic husk Alex is at the end of the film.

But what happens if you remove the two most vital men from the production? How does the film look if its director and its star aren't in place? This was the case when Anthony Burgess first sold the film rights to his novel, for a mere $500 dollars. At that point, plans for the movie were radically different.

According to an AFI piece, Ken Russell was originally slated to direct the film. That isn't nearly the strangest alternate staffing choice, however, as it was Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger who was originally sought for the part of Alex, along with the other Stones as his "droogs," as they called Alex's cronies.

An alternate timeline

This is a very different timeline, where instead of the Kubrick masterpiece that "A Clockwork Orange" was, we got a film headed up by The Rolling Stones. Mick Jagger certainly has charisma and stage presence, but you have to imagine that he wouldn't have lived up to the pristine acting standard set by McDowell.

The Rolling Stones weren't the only British rock band considered to work on the film. According to a piece in the Guardian, The Beatles were at one point interested in doing the film's soundtrack. Changing the film's largely classical scores to the rock and roll stylings of The Beatles would have drastically shifted the mood of the movie, another change that I don't believe would have been good for the film.

It's hard to imagine that version of the film that was discussed. To imagine The Rolling Stones going around committing acts of ultraviolence to a Beatles soundtrack is the sort of made-up movie idea you'd hear in a 1960's-set "30 Rock" reboot. I think we can all be pretty glad that we got the movie we did, because I'm not sure if the movie version of the British Invasion would have held up as well as the actual film.