Entertainment Movies Boy George proves the single-minded music biopics have to stop

Boy George proves the single-minded music biopics have to stop

Boy George Rocketman May 20
Picking up tips on how to biopic: Boy George at Rocketman's UK premiere in London on May 20. Photo: Getty
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Barely had Rocketman started burning out its fuse up there alone at a zillion cinemas than ghastly news broke: Boy George is the next aging British musician to have a biopic dedicated to his life.

Studio giant MGM is beavering away on the project, according to The Hollywood Reporter, even though Boy’s life was comprehensively covered off in a 2010 TV film Worried About The Boy.

Meanwhile, director Baz Luhrmann – yes, yes, Australia – is poised to film an Elvis Presley biopic on the Gold Coast, with Tom Hanks as The King’s manager Colonel Tom Parker but no Elvis just yet.

Elvis I can do, with the Palm Springs interiors and Priscilla’s hair and his towering talent and too-short life. But Boy George? Give us a spell.

Boy George Florida 2018
Boy George is a chameleon in Florida on July 3, 2018. Photo: Getty

The music biopics as they stand are a single-minded madness which is boring and repetitive.

Culture Club had a lifespan of about two years. Nobody will ever want their songs as a wedding dance or funeral send off or anything other than a novelty song at a 50th.

More worthy candidates: Annie Lennox, Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, Belinda Carlisle, Tom Jones, Amy Winehouse.

Every year my eldest son springs for dinner and a show for my birthday. Boney M was a highlight. Three years ago, it was We Will Rock You, featuring the music of Queen (as interpreted by Brian Mannix.)

I’ve loved Queen since Saturday nights meant eating Rice-A-Riso in Glen Waverley and watching Freddie in his leotard on Countdown. My brother and I would hold torches under our chins and sing along.

So the gift was a great treat. But people were disbelieving: “You have to spend three hours listening to Queen music?”

Then along came Bohemian Rhapsody and suddenly Queen is king. Perms grey now, they’re opening the Oscars, selling out arenas, their bloody movie makes over a billion dollars.

How has this happened?

Rami Malek Bohemian Rhapsody
Rami Malek in his Oscar winning role as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. Photo: 20th Century Fox

Bohemian Rhapsody was a hammy shocker which should have been a TV movie of the week. People wanted to love it because, Freddie, so they got carried away in an Emperor’s New Clothes situation and nobody was brave enough to say it sucked.

Now we have Rocketman, which is a superior film and means Elton can tour again and have a comfortable retirement. More power to him.

Taron Egerton Rocketman
Taron Egerton rocks out as Elton in Rocketman. Photo: Rocket Pictures

But Boy George is the bridge too far. Why, people, why? Surely being a judge on The Voice isn’t enough to propel him back to long-forgotten relevance.

More importantly, his back story has been done.

It’s all we get with musical biopics: English ‘sensitive’ boy survives naysayers and working class childhood with ambitious/absent/cruel/my-son-can’t-be-gay parent to become star.

Star falls into the old sex, drugs and rock’n’roll cliche and goes off the rails until the third act when he redeems himself at Wembley or some such and all is happy days.

That storyline is the only show in town, and it’s singularly lacking in diversity.

It’s why Abba will never get a biopic – thank you, Hollywood Jesus –  although now I’ve typed that I can see Margot Robbie back-to-back with Sophie Turner belting out Mamma Mia as a bearded Nicholas Hoult smiles gormlessly and plays keys.

In the current mania for musical yarns, I’m waiting for Katy Perry to make her acting debut in the biopic of Canadian pop trailblazers Promises.

Or Hanson to play the Jonas Brothers. Or Bros to play themselves with clever use of bronzer.

It’s nothing personal, Boy George. Just that Culture Club was a footnote and you’re third cab off the recent rank. And we deserve something more original.

Call it karma.

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