Much like reboots, biopics are all the rage at the moment. And why not? Their subjects lives are often as intriguing, tragic, scandalous or decadent as any screenwriter could ever conceive.
While many of the iconic names who are being given the biopic treatment also have documentaries about them available to watch, sometimes seeing one famous performer portray another adds an extra layer of fun that makes the project all the more appealing.
In recent years, we’ve seen the late, great Aretha Franklin be portrayed by Jennifer Hudson in Respect, the brilliant Jonathan Larson be played by Andrew Garfield in Lin Manuel Miranda’s tick, tick…BOOM! and Lily James and Sebastian Stan capture everyone’s attention as Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee in Pam and Tommy. — just to name a few.
With plenty of fascinating backstories to mine and a revolving door of talented actors to bring them to life, here are the biopics in the works that we cannot wait to watch.
Untitled Audrey Hepburn Project
The project has been greenlit by Apple and plot details have not yet been revealed Mara seems the perfect choice to bring the revered actress’s story to life.
Mara boasts an impressive resume, having been nominated twice for an Academy Award — for Best Actress in 2012’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Best Supporting Actress for 2016’s Carol.
Meanwhile, Hepburn, who starred in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, My Fair Lady, Funny Face, Sabrina and Roman Holiday, was nominated for the Academy Award for best actress five times, winning in 1953 for Roman Holiday.
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
We couldn’t have predicted this one, but we love it all the same.
According to the official synopsis, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story “holds nothing back, exploring every facet of Yankovic’s life, from his meteoric rise to fame with early hits like Eat It and Like a Surgeon to his torrid celebrity love affairs and famously depraved lifestyle”.
Untitled Bob Marley Project
“Our film starts in ’76 and really it’s about the making of Exodus,” Green told Collider.
Exodus was the ninth studio album by Bob Marley and the Wailers, recorded after the singer survived an assassination attempt. Marley, along with his wife and manager, was wounded in an assault by unknown gunmen inside his home, with the singer sustaining injuries to his chest and arm. He subsequently spent two years living in self-imposed exile in London, which was where he wrote and recorded the album.
No cast has been announced as yet.
I Slept With Joey Ramone
Saturday Night Live breakout star Pete Davidson will portray punk rock legend Joey Ramone in the upcoming Netflix biopic I Slept With Joey Ramone.
The Ramones frontman passed away on April 15th, 2001 at the age of 49 after a seven-year battle with lymphoma with the film being based on the 2010 memoir of the same name, which was written by Ramone’s brother Mickey Leigh.
As Ramone, Davidson will chronicle the life and times of the legendary musician who undoubtedly changed the landscape of rock and punk music with his frenetic style.
Elizabeth Holmes — Bad Blood
Bad Blood, which will be directed by The Big Short filmmaker Adam McKay is being backed by Apple Original Films and will document Holmes’ spectacular rise and fall, one that began with the promise of revolutionizing the health care system and ended with the collapse of her company and a trial for fraud.
Holmes was found guilty on four of 11 charges of fraud, pertaining to her activities as the founder and CEO of Theranos in January 2022 and now faces up to 20 years in prison.
Untitled The Grateful Dead Project
Martin Scorsese is set to make a musical biopic about iconic group The Grateful Dead with Jonah Hill attached to star as legendary frontman Jerry Garcia. Hill and Scorsese previously worked together on 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street.
The film is still untitled and it has not yet been revealed exactly which parts of the band’s storied career it will cover.
The Grateful Dead formed in San Francisco’s Bay area in 1965 and became known for blending the styles of rock, folk, country, jazz, bluegrass, blues, gospel, and psychedelic rock. Known as one of the leading counterculture acts of the 60s, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
Titled Samo Lives — in a nod to the name Basquiat signed his graffiti with — the film will celebrate the life, career and impact of the groundbreaking New York-born, Haitian-Puerto Rican American artist whose iconic paintings and street art defined the Neo-expressionism arts movement of the 1980s.
While Basquiat has been the subject of several films and documentaries, such as 2009’s Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child and 1996’s Basquiat, starring Jeffrey Wright as the artist, this will be the first time a Black filmmaker has helmed a project about the artist.
Jim Henson — Muppet Man
Jim Henson — for whom we have to thank for The Muppets, Fraggle Rock and many of the Sesame Street characters — is set to be the subject of an upcoming biopic, which will be written by Michael Mitnick.
Titled Muppet Man, the film will delve into Henson’s life and career, in particular, his persistence in getting The Muppets on air where they became the stuff of comedy legend.
Henson’s daughter, Lisa, will produce the live-action project for The Jim Henson Company.
So far there has been no word on who might play the revered puppeteer in the film or when it is scheduled for release.
Michael Jackson — Michael
Graham King, who brought us Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody‘s, will produce a new biopic about late pop star Michael Jackson
According to a press release the film, which is being made with the blessing of the Michael Jackson estate, “will give audiences an in-depth portrayal of the complicated man who became the King of Pop. It will bring to life Jackson’s most iconic performances as it gives an informed insight into the entertainer’s artistic process and personal life.”
The involvement of Jackson’s estate means we likely won’t see any inclusion of the allegations of child sexual abuse that were raised against the singer during his career and after his death in 2009.
Directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Austin Butler as the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis will chronicle the life and career of a rock-and-roll legend, loved by millions and gone too soon.
It will also focus on the complex dynamic between Elvis (Butler) and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), over the space of twenty years “against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and the loss of innocence in America.”
The film will also star Australian newcomer Olivia DeJonge (Netflix’ The Society) as Priscilla Presley (the role will no doubt skyrocket her to instant stardom) and Maggie Gyllenhaal and Rufus Sewell as Elvis’ parents, Vernon and Gladys Presley.
After several COVID-related delays, the film will be released in June 2022.