When you consider that he’s been responsible for four of the most profitable films in Paramount’s recent past (i.e. anything associated with the ‘Jackass’ brand, including last week’s number one entry, ‘Bad Grandpa‘), it’s stunning to learn that Jeff Tremaine has had to fight with entertainment division MTV to direct the Motley Crue biopic based on their balls to the wall, warts and all tome ‘The Dirt‘
Subtitled ‘Confessions Of The World’s Most Notorious Rock Band,’ the scandal filled screed is so outrageous and over the top that it’s become legend among metal heads and fans of the famed ’80s hair giants. The typical stories about drugs and debauchery just don’t cut it when it comes to the Crue. Instead, we get crimes both moral and legal as well as umpteen examples of how too much cocaine, copulation, and power chords can lead to some highly unusual (and often quite funny) situations.
For those who’ve followed the “filmmaker” from his time putting Johnny Knoxville and the boys through their big screen paces to..well, that’s about it, Tremaine has struggled to get MTV Films boss David Gale to even acknowledge him as a possible candidate. Now, he’s being primed to bring the project to life. In a quote captured by FilmDrunk.com, the pied piper of pranks said, “I’ve been careful to make this a natural progression. I’ve been offered a lot of scripts but ‘Dirt’ is something I pursued with everything I had. I’ve wanted to make this going back to 2001.” He goes on to say how he approached Gale and was given a highly sarcastic vote of confidence. Now, with the ‘Jackass’ franchise showing no signs of stopping (small budgets vs. massive opening weekends verifies this) Tremaine has the commercial clout to get what he wants…and now he has ‘The Dirt.’
For anyone whose read it, Crue’s tell-all is unlike any rock and roll mea culpa ever captured. About the closest we’ve come to something similar is John “Rotten” Lydon’s brilliant deconstruction of his life both before and after the Sex Pistols (‘Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs‘) which used actual interviews with the subject of his stories as between paragraph commentary, allowing others to corroborate, or counter, his previously stated interpretation of things. In this case, Nikki Sixx, Vince Neil, Tommy Lee, and Mick Mars come off as Hellbent hedonists who try to one-up each other on the scale of unacceptable public, personal, and professional behavior. There’s also some intriguing insights into the era, the musical genre, and the biz itself. Tremaine is very good at the set-up and punchline. If he can add in character development and narrative drive, we might have a real winner on our hands.