A scripted Netflix series about rock band U2 is in the stages of early development. The project is the brainchild of JJ Abrams and his Bad Robot production company which is housed under a lucrative deal at Warner Bros. Television. Anthony McCarten has signed on to pen the script. He previously worked on the Oscar-nominated Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, any information about U2’s involvement in the JJ Abrams project is being kept under wraps. But inside sources say the legendary rock band is expected to be involved. Following the success of 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody and the Elton John-themed Rocketman in 2019, there has been renewed interest in music-themed movies. Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley movie is set for release in June and features Austin Butler as the King of Rock.
A film about Madonna is also on the way and, much like JJ Abrams’ Netflix series, the singer will be involved. The Material Girl is serving as director and co-writer on the project. A search is currently underway for an actress to take on the iconic role. A biopic about reggae music pioneer Bob Marley is also in the works. Reinaldo Marcus Green (of King Richard fame) is set to direct the untitled project which is set for release on January 12, 2024. Kingsley Ben-Adir will star as the musician, Deadline reports.
Interestingly, JJ Abrams’ new series isn’t the first on-screen project about the Irish band. Over the years U2 has been the subject of various movies. In 1988 the group was featured in Rattle and Hum. The rockumentary was directed by Phil Joanou and served as a companion to the band’s hybrid live/studio album of the same name. A concert film titled U2 3D was released in 2008. It showcased the rockers performing during 2006’s Vertigo Tour. The live footage included political and social statements made during the concerts.
In 2011, the documentary From the Sky Down was released. Directed by Davis Guggenheim, it focused on the production of U2’s 1991 album Achtung Baby. The film chronicled the album’s difficult recording period, the band members’ relationships, and the group’s creative process. And last year, Bono lent his voice to Clay Calloway, a reclusive lion rock star, in the animated movie Sing 2. The band also wrote a brand new song for the movie’s soundtrack called Your Song Saved My Life. So the JJ Abrams series will be in good company.
Although U2 is no stranger to projects about their lives and career, JJ Abrams’ series will still have over 40 years of history to draw from. From the band’s early days in Dublin to their arena rock era of the 2000s and everything between, there is a lot of rich history that fans would love to see. Fronted by Bono, U2’s lineup includes lead guitarist the Edge, bassist Adam Clayton, and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. Since their formation in 1976, the band has released 14 studio albums and sold more than 170 million records worldwide. With a record of 22 Grammy Awards to their name, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.