Johnny Thunders Biopic Signs Director, to Begin Production Next Year

Thunders in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1979

Thomas Good via Wikimedia

Alexander Soskin has signed to direct an adaptation of Nina Antonia's bio "Johnny Thunders: In Cold Blood," set to begin production in 2014, L.A.M.F. Films in Los Angeles has announced. Thunders, the guitarist for the influential 1970s punk bands the New York Dolls and the Heartbreakers, once told a cheering audience at a concert, "OK, you got it, I'm gonna die tonight -- I'm gonna die up here," but he actually died in New Orleans in 1991. Though he was a notorious addict, some think his death involved foul play.

"Johnny's guitar actually sings," said Morrissey, among the many big names he influenced, including members of the Sex Pistols, KISS, and Guns N' Roses.

Soskin, an assistant editor on Sexy Beast, whose first short film, Tunnel Vision, won the gold and audience awards in the Nike Young Directors competition, is also attached to direct "Gunned Down," starring Craig Fairbrass and Steven Berkoff, for Screen 360. Antonia's 1987 book, hailed by NME as "a gorgeously sordid biography," was updated in 2000 and has been in print for 25 years. The film concerns the wild rollercoaster ride of Thunders' life as seen by Antonia, who had no idea what she was in for when she befriended Thunders. He called her "the smartest chick I ever met."

Antonia went on to write "New York Dolls: Too Much Too Soon," "Peter Perrett, The Prettiest Star," and liner notes for Nico and Lou Reed. She appeared alongside Morrissey and Iggy Pop in the documentary "New York Doll." She is writing a biography of Peter Doherty. The film's screenplay will be written by Chloe Fontana and Ada Guerin (a THR associate art director).

Soskin is managed by Andrea Simon Entertainment, and his legal representative is Ryan Goodell at Morris Yorn.

The article was first published by The Hollywood Reporter