MOVIE maker and former Skids frontman Richard Jobson is to direct "a rock and roll trilogy" which will include a sequel to cult film Quadrophenia, a road movie about a reformed punk band starring Jerry Sadowitz and David Threlfall, and an homage to David Bowie – written for Tilda Swinton to play the iconic singer.
The 51-year-old Fifer revealed his plans to the Sunday Herald ahead of the Glasgow Film Festival screening of his new film, The Somnambulists.
Quadrophenia was made in 1979 by Franc Roddam and starred Phil Daniels as pill-popping London Mod Jimmy Cooper. In Jobson's update, currently titled Won't Get Fooled Again after The Who song of the same name, Jimmy has left Britain and followed the hippie trail to India. He returns to London on New Year's Eve 1969. The action then follows him through the 1970s.
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"The film takes you up to Mrs Thatcher being elected in 1979," Jobson explains, "and it's seen through the eyes of the advertising world – Jimmy becomes a sort of Alan Parker, Ridley Scott figure, the king of advertising. It's really about a man searching for his identity and about how he becomes this incredible salesman. He can sell anything through the medium of advertising. He's even willing to sell his soul – or is he? He gets offered Thatcher as a client and that's the moment he turns away from it all. It's a really interesting story and a great way to see the 1970s."
Backed by the remaining members of The Who and produced by their longtime manager, Bill Curbishley, it also promises a great soundtrack. Jobson said: "You start off with The Who – songs like Baba O'Riley and Won't Get Fooled Again – then you're into a bit of Led Zeppelin, then disco, then Lou Reed, punk rock, the Mod revival and New Wave. It was an amazing period that's never really been caught on film that well."
Jobson plans to shoot Won't Get Fooled Again in 2013. Before then he wants to make The David Bowie Fanclub, about a mother and daughter travelling across Europe to watch David Bowie perform. Inspired perhaps by Todd Haynes's Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There, in which Cate Blanchett is one of several actors who plays Dylan, Jobson has actress Tilda Swinton in mind for the role of Bowie's mid-1970s incarnation, The Thin White Duke. "Wouldn't she be great in a suit with her hair slicked back?" he says.
But first up is A1, a comic road movie about a reformed punk band travelling by van from Scotland to England. It's a route Jobson knows well from his own days in The Skids.
"It's a bittersweet tale about a bunch of guys who believe there's still an opportunity for glory," he says. "But it's also about a lie that's lain at the heart of all their lives that needs to be sorted, a truth that needs to come out. And that's the point of the tour. But it's also a celebration of one of my favourite roads."
Sadowitz will play the band's manager, while Shameless star Threlfall will play the singer. "And I'm hoping to get Billy Connolly, too," Jobson adds. "I think he still looks young. He could still pull it off as a 50-something punk rocker."