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Brian Wilson biopic in the works

on June 24, 2011, 3:00pm

A few months back, I picked up Brian Wilson‘s autobiography, Wouldn’t It Be Nice. Haven’t read it yet, but it doesn’t take a rock ‘n’ roll historian to know that the guy’s had an interesting, if not warped, life. Let’s just say, anyone who feels their music is responsible for a series of fires makes for an intriguing story*. That’s what River Road Entertainment thinks. The production company, who recently put out Terence Malick’s awe-inspiring Tree of Life, wants to bring the former Beach Boys’ life to the silver screen (via The New York Times).

In a statement about the forthcoming project, River Road Entertainment states that the film will “take an unconventional look at Wilson’s unique musical process as well as his struggles with mental illness, and how he managed to persevere as an artist with the love and support of his wife Melinda.” What does this exactly mean? Producer Bill Pohland told 24 Frames (via The LA Times), “I have no interest in making a biopic. What’s fascinating to me is to look at the different elements in his life, like that super-creative period when he was doing ‘Pet Sounds’ and the later part when he was redeemed.” There’s no set period they’re focusing on yet, but The LA Times writes, “producers see the Wilson movie less as a music picture than as a kind of tuneful  “A Beautiful Mind,” exploring the intersection of genius and madness.”

If you’re unfamiliar with Wilson outside of singles like “Good Vibrations” or “Surfin’ U.S.A”, then you’ll be surprised to know that some of rock ‘n’ roll’s happiest and sunniest works came from one of the genre’s most troubled minds. Between drugs, childhood abuse, and psychological disorders, Wilson’s life took some tragic turns for the worst. Then, there’s the tale of Smile, but that’s a whole other ballgame.

Currently, the film is being written by screenwriter/director Oren Moverman (I’m Not There, The Messenger), who is also working on the alleged Kurt Cobain biopic. And while it’s still a ways off before casting begins, we’ll toss in our vote: Zach Galifianakis. Hands down. Can’t see it? Maybe this will convince you.

Stay tuned for more details.

* Fun fact: Wilson once believed while recording the trippy, carnival-like instrumental “Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow”, he caused a set of fires nearby the recording studio and across Los Angeles. Yeah, this should be an awesome film.

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