Currently making its way through the rumor mill: Martin Scorsese is on board to direct a new Ramones biopic. Is it out of the question? No. But let’s keep a firm grip on reality. Scorsese is a busy man.
Here’s the thing about movies and Martin Scorsese: Any time a new, incredibly cool movie is in the works, someone decides Scorsese is probably attached. The rumor that Scorsese is attached to an upcoming Ramones biopic seems to trace back to Billboard. While we don’t want to call them liars, it’s important to know they’re not naming sources or even saying they have a source. They’ve just thrown out that bit of “fact” as if saying it makes it so. Seems sketchy. Scorsese one seriously busy dude with an already jam-packed schedule that includes a Sinatra project, the Shutter Island TV series, Silence, that supposed Gangs of New York TV series and much more. All talk of Ramones media centers on the 2016 40th anniversary and we just don’t see Scorsese having time for that right now.
Now that we’ve gotten the doubt out of the way, it’s important to note that it’s not entirely out of the question. A Ramones biopic wouldn’t be Scorsese’s first dive into music. Let’s not ignore the unforgettable Bob Dylan project, “No Direction Home.” Still one of our favorites. And The Last Waltz is practically a classic. Diving into punk and exploring the life and times of the Ramones not only isn’t a stretch, but it actually makes complete sense.
We’re trying to keep it real, though. The whole idea of a Ramones biopic came from this year’s Johnny Ramone tribute event, held annually in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. They even featured a Q&A session hosted by Rob Zombie and featuring Johnny’s widow Linda Ramone at the table, as well as estate comanager Jeff Jampol, and Duff McKagan. Jampol spoke a bit about their plans for the 40th anniversary, citing that a book, theatrical production and film were all in the works. While he went into great detail on some new merchandise, the only details on the film mentioned were of some old footage they’d recently secured.
“We’re looking at a documentary on the Ramones. We just secured a ton of footage, much of which has never been seen before,” Jampol shared. “It came from the Ramones on the road over the years in the ’70s and a little bit in the ’80s, from a gentleman who had shot them. His name is George Seminara.”
After the recent passing of Tommy Ramone, we’ve never felt farther from the Ramones and their legacy, which for many of us reached its height before we were even born. We’d love the chance to live some of those moments for the first time, even if vicariously through archived footage or handsome actors. There are no official details on Scorsese or anything else, however. For now, we choose to remain skeptical until someone wants to share actual evidence — which, of course, we will happily accept.