CBGB Movie Gets Cast
Alan Rickman to play club owner Hilly Kristal in new punk biopic.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: May 31st, 2012
The cast of the film will include two actors from the Harry Potter series.
here have been a lot of punk rock biopics in recent years. There was 24-Hour Party People, which focused on Factory Records impresario Tony Wilson, but was also a biopic about Joy Division and The Happy Mondays; Control, Anton Corbjin’s biopic of Ian Curtis; What We Do Is Secret, about L.A. hardcore band The Germs; Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, about British pub-rocker-cum-punk-icon Ian Dury; and The Runaways, about the female punk band that launched the careers of Joan Jett and Lita Ford. The latest is the story of legendary New York club CBGB, given the uninspired title CBGB.
The cast of the film will include two actors from the Harry Potter series. Alan Rickman (aka Severus Snape) will star in the film as club owner Hilly Kristal, and Rupert Grint (aka Ron Weasley) will play the Dead Boys’ guitarist Cheetah Chrome.
CBGB (which stood for Country, Blue Grass, and Blues—its awning also featured the letters OMFUG, which stood for Other Music For Uplifting Gourmandizers) opened in 1973 and was the principle club that featured the pioneers of New York’s punk rock movement. Bands like Television, Talking Heads, Patti Smith Group, the Dead Boys, the Ramones, and Blondie all began their careers playing at the club.
The club closed in 2006 after a conflict with the Bowery Residents’ Committee over back rent. Hilly Kristal died in 2007 of complications from lung cancer.
Other castmembers for the upcoming film include Estelle Harris (George Costanza’s mother on Seinfeld) as Kristal’s mother Bertha, Malin Ackerman (Silk Spectre II in Watchmen) as Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry, and Joel David Moore (Dr. Norm Spellman in Avatar) as Joey Ramone.
Will the movie be any good? If previous rock biopics are any indication, it probably won’t be. The film’s director, Randall Miller, has made several films (Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing & Charm School, Nobel Son, Bottle Shock), none of which made much of a splash with moviegoers or with critics, but we don’t see how any film featuring Rupert Grint wearing a dog collar could possibly be bad.