Danny Boyle (Left) and Steve Jones (Right)
Courtesy of FX
The six-episode series is based on Steve Jones’ 2018 memoir “Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol.” Academy Award winner Danny Boyle will direct and executive produce the series, which hails from writers and fellow executive producers Craig Pearce and Frank Cottrell Boyce. Pearce created the series.
Titled “Pistol,” the show stars Toby Wallace as Steve Jones, Anson Boon as John “Johnny Rotten” Lydon, Louis Partridge as Sid Vicious, Jacob Slater as Paul Cook, Fabien Frankel as Glen Matlock, Dylan Llewellyn as Wally Nightingale, Sydney Chandler as Chrissie Hynde, Emma Appleton as Nancy Spungen, and Maisie Williams as punk icon Jordan.
“Imagine breaking into the world of ‘The Crown’ and ‘Downton Abbey’ with your mates and screaming your songs and your fury at all they represent,” said Boyle. “This is the moment that British society and culture changed forever. It is the detonation point for British street culture…where ordinary young people had the stage and vented their fury and their fashion…and everyone had to watch & listen…and everyone feared them or followed them. The Sex Pistols. At its center was a young charming illiterate kleptomaniac – a hero for the times – Steve Jones, who became in his own words, the 94th greatest guitarist of all time. This is how he got there.”
Gail Lyon, Anita Camarata, Tracey Seaward, Paul Lee, Hope Hartman and wiip also serve as executive producers. The series is produced by FX Productions and is set to begin production on March 7.
“Pistol” marks a return to FX for Boyle, who previously directed and executive produced the 2018 limited series “Trust” for the network. That show dealt with the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III in 1973. Boyle is best known for his film work, having won the Oscar for best director for “Slumdog Millionaire.” He was later nominated for co-writing the screenplay for “127 Hours,” which was also nominated for best picture.
It also marks a return to the music world for Boyle, whose most recent film was 2019’s “Yesterday,” a comedy in which a British musician wakes up after an accident in a world where the Beatles never existed, and goes on to great success performing their songs.
“It’s great to be back in business with Danny Boyle, an exceptional artist responsible for so many great feature films and TV series,” said Nick Grad, president of original programming at FX Entertainment. “Steve Jones was at the center of the storm that shook the rock establishment and we’re thrilled to have Danny and the rest of the creative team tell his story as a member of one of music’s most notorious bands – the Sex Pistols.”
Anchored by Jones’ memoir, “Pistol” moves from West London’s council estates, to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s notorious Kings Road SEX shop, to the international controversy that came with the release of “Never Mind the Bollocks,” which is frequently listed as one of the most influential albums of all time. Their single “God Save the Queen” was banned by the BBC and reached Number 1 on the UK’s NME chart, but appeared at Number 2 on the Official UK Singles chart, leading to accusations that the song was purposely kept off the top spot. For the only time in chart history, the track was listed as a blank, to avoid offence to the monarchy.
“The Sex Pistols changed music forever and Danny Boyle is the perfect director to tell Steve Jones’ story fueled by raw creativity and destruction,” said Lee, CEO of wiip. “We’re thrilled to be making this with our friends at FX.
Variety's Joe Otterson contributed to this post.