Francis Lawrence To Direct Sublime Biopic

A biopic about punk rock band Sublime is in the works at Sony Pictures, with Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games) tapped to direct. Chris Mundy, who has received five Emmy nominations for his work on Ozark, will pen the script.

The film will reportedly tell the story of the band’s formation in the late 1980s, with the Long Beach, California-based trio rising among the punk rock and ska ranks to become one of the most recognizable alternative bands with hit songs like ‘Santeria’ and ‘Wrong Way.’

The band has always had a devoted fanbase, but it was the tragic death of lead singer Bradley Nowell in 1996 that garnered increased interest in the group, and helped cement their status among the greatest bands of the decade.

The project will have some assistance from the band themselves, as the group’s remaining members – Bud Gaugh and Eric Wilson – will also serve as executive producers along with Nowell’s widow and son, Troy and Jakob. Gaugh, Wilson and the Nowells said in a statement:

“We can’t believe this is finally happening, and we couldn’t be more honored and excited to have the great Francis Lawrence and Chris Mundy telling our story. We are so grateful to Peter Paterno and Dave Kaplan/Surfdog for their years of persistence and vision in getting this film going and thankful to Sony’s 3000 Pictures and Chernin Entertainment for believing in us and getting it on the big screen.”

Kaplan added: “We’re thrilled Sublime’s insanely cool and important story will finally be told. They were fearless and pioneering in bringing together so many musical genres, cultures and lifestyles during their short time as a band, and their music is still influencing musicians and artists to this day.”

There has been a big trend of Hollywood musical biopics since the massive success of Bohemian Rhapsody, but most are about gigantic names like Elvis Presley and Elton John. It will be interesting to see how a similar film about Sublime, a band many may not have heard of, will come together.

Lawrence is returning to the Hunger Games franchise with The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a prequel that’s set to arrive next year. He’s also attached to direct the upcoming adaptation of video game Bioshock.


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