Lemmy from Motörhead to get big screen biopic

Tom Butler
Senior Editor
Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, portrait, 1982. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

Motörhead frontman Lemmy is going to follow Freddie Mercury and Elton John to the big screen as plans for a biopic about his life have been revealed by Deadline.

The Stoke-on-Trent born rocker – real name Ian Fraser Kilmister – who died in 2015, is considered one of the most influential musicians of his era having been a key player in Hawkwind before forming Motörhead in 1975.

The film, currently titled Lemmy, will cover the iconic bassist’s life from becoming a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, to being fired from Hawkwind after getting arrested for drug possession in Canada, to forming Motörhead with Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee and writing their hit single Ace of Spades, and beyond. It’s hoping to go before cameras at the start of 2021. There’s no word yet on who will be playing the title role.

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The project, which is currently seeking financing via the virtual Cannes Film Festival, will be directed by Greg Olliver, who made the 2010 documentary Lemmy, from a script by Medeni Griffiths and Olliver.

“Everything you’ve heard about Lemmy is probably true… not because he was embracing rock n’ roll clichés, but because he was creating them,” Olliver tells Deadline.

Motörhead (v.l. Phil Campbell, Phil Taylor, Lemmy Kilmister, Michael Burston) on 03.12.1987 in München / Munich. (Photo by Fryderyk Gabowicz/picture alliance via Getty Images)

“Marlboro Reds and Jack Daniel’s for breakfast, speed for dinner – all true. But behind that steely-eyed façade of rock n’ roll was also a compelling, complicated and lion-hearted man who stayed the course and never gave up playing the music that made him happy.  

“We’ve been carefully developing this biopic since 2013, making sure to stay true to Lemmy, Motörhead band members Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee, and all the other folks that played important roles in Lemmy’s life. This will be a film they’ll be proud of.”

Motörhead’s manager Todd Singerman and Steffan Chirazi will serve as Executive Producers.

Rock biopics are big business at the moment. Bryan Singer’s Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody earned over $900 million at the global box office, while Dexter Fletcher’s Elton John film Rocketman took $195 million.

Watch a trailer for the documentary Lemmy below.