30 Best Biopics Currently In Development

Life stories coming your way soon-ish

Untitled Evel Knievel project

The True Story: Knievel is a world-renowned American daredevil, becoming an icon in the 70s following a series of daring motorcycle jumps.

Creating shows from jumping lions, rattlesnakes, buses, canyons – you name it, Knievel was a star who, unsurprisingly received a lot of injuries along the way.

At one point he spent 29 days in a coma following a failed jump, and was enlisted in the Guinness Book Of World Records as the person with the most bones broken in a lifetime.

Following a stint in jail for assault in 1977, Knievel’s career bombed, leading to bankruptcy. He died in 2007 aged 69.

The Movie Version: While it is unclear what extent of Knievel’s career the film will cover, we at least have a star in the frame: Channing Tatum is planning on donning the stars-and-stripes white jumpsuit to bring the icon to life.

Why We're Excited: C-Tates performing life-threatening stunts on the back of a motorcycle? It’s like they literally pulled this idea from our very dreams.

Untitled Dr. Seuss project

The True Story: Born Theodor Seuss Geisel, Dr. Seuss is an enormously popular author, poet and cartoonist who published 46 children’s books.

He also worked as an illustrator for advertising campaigns and as a political cartoonist.

During World War II, he worked for the US Army as commander of the animation department of the First Motion Picture Unit. He died in 1991 of throat cancer aged 87.

The Movie Version: In what is too-perfect casting, Johnny Depp is to play Geisel in a film that will blend live action with the illustrator’s own cartoon creations.

There’s no release date yet, but the film was announced to be in development last year, with Depp in talks with Geisel’s widow.

Why We're Excited: It sounds like Depp could be about to star in a film that mixes his Finding Neverland with Who Framed Roger Rabbit and we’re all for that.

Bront

The True Story: Three sisters – Charlotte, Emily and Anne – became world-renowned poets and novelists in the nineteenth century and, between them, were responsible for Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall although all originally under male pseudonyms.

They are often remembered as being fanciful girls who emerged as incredibly writing talents, and who contended with a domineering father and a drug-abusing brother.

The Movie Version: A biopic of the three sisters is currently planned for 2016 to mark the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth.

Paramount are behind the project but there is no one attached yet, although Rupert Grint and Rupert Everett have both been mentioned in connection with the film.

Basically anyone called Rupert is a sure bet for a film covering this time period.

Why We're Excited: After years and years of adaptations of their works, it will be great to see a big-budget version of the real-life story behind it all.

I Dreamed A Dream

The True Story: Modest, quiet, extremely shy Scottish singer Susan Boyle (with learning difficulties stemming from a deprivation of oxygen as a baby) became a worldwide sensation when she unassumingly took the stage in an audition for Britain's Got Talent and suddenly belted out a heartbreaking rendition of Les Misérables' I Dreamed A Dream.

Then followed tens of millions of YouTube hits, a shock defeat in the competition final, record-breaking album releases and several reports questioning the affect of industry pressures on her mental health.

The Movie Version: As above. Fox Searchlight are adapting the film from the successful stage musical, which tells Boyle's entire life, from birth and getting bullied at school, to her TV appearances and subsequent battle with exhaustion. But it's a fairytale story with a triumphant ending.

Why We're Excited: it's the ultimate modern-age underdog story within the context of reality shows and prejudiced first impressions - it seems very current.

Plus we can't wait to see who gets cast in the lead role.

Untitled Brian Epstein project

The True Story: Brian Epstein is best known for being the manager of The Beatles throughout the early 60s, at the height of Beatlemania.

In addition to landing them their first record deal and being responsible for their careers, Epstein was a practising homosexual at a time when it was a criminal offence, and became dependent on various drugs. He eventually died of an accidental overdose in 1967.

The Movie Version: There is another Epstein biopic in development called The Fifth Beatle, but this has us more excited for the time-being thanks to Tom Hanks producing and, as of last year, Benedict Cumberbatch signing on to star (with his Sherlock director Paul McGuigan calling the shots).

The only problem is that the other biopic is the one with the rights to use The Beatles’ songs.

Still, this is a film which promises to concentrate on Epstein’s entire life and not just his involvement with the Fab Four.

Why We're Excited: We’re just happy to report a Benedict Cumberbatch casting story that’s apparently actually happening.

Steve McQueen: Portrait Of An American Rebel

The True Story: King Of Cool anti-hero actor Steve McQueen became a hit with cinema audiences in the 60s and 70s, mostly thanks to a bruising, laconic presence.

Throughout his childhood, the actor rebelled against his abusive stepfather, spent time living on the streets and even became a gang member, committing acts of petty crime, before eventually becoming a Marine.

He's famous for often locking horns with directors and other actors on set. He died from malignant mesothelioma brought on by exposure to asbestos on November 7th 1980 aged 50.

The Movie Version: Jeremy Renner is producing this movie, which is based on the biography of the same name, but there's no word yet on whether he will star too.

Rather than focus on McQueen's entire life, the film will focus on his Hollywood career and penchant for drugs and fast cars.

Why We're Excited: It will be a behind-the-scenes look at on of cinema's greatest icons, complete with some distinctly unliveable behaviour.

Now they just need to find some one to play him that can match his onscreen charisma.

Untitled Janis Joplin project

The True Story: Janis Joplin became known as The Queen of Psychedelic Soul, rising to fame in the late 60s and earning herself a place as one of the most-anticipated acts at Woodstock.

Unfortunately, she succumbed to heavy drug and alcohol use and died of a heroin overdose in 1970 aged 27.

The Movie Version: Director Lee Daniels is eyeing up a Janis Joplin biopic as his next project and he has apparently cast Amy Adams in the lead.

Details are scarce about the film but seeing as Joplin’s career was relatively short-lived anyway, you can probably guess that it will span the majority, if not all, of it.

Why We're Excited: Amy Adams has proven herself time and time again in heavyweight dramatic roles recently and, with Daniels at the helm, this might even spell Academy Award nominations for her.

Pel

The True Story: Often referred to as the greatest football player in history, Pelé scored 1281 goals in 1363 games and is hailed as a national hero in his native Brazil.

He retired from football in 1977 and has acted as an ambassador for the sport ever since. He can also be seen playing football alongside Sly Stallone and Michael Caine in 1981's Escape To Victory.

The Movie Version: Writer-directors Michael and Jeff Zimbalist were shopping this biopic around at this year's Cannes.

The film is set to chronicle Pelé's rise to fame, from his poverty-stricken childhood to leading Brazil to win the World Cup in 1958 at the age of just 17.

Why We're Excited: A rags-to-riches tale punctuated by spectacular goals? What's not to love?

A Girl Called Dusty

The True Story: Dusty Springfield (real name Mary O’Brien) became a singing sensation in the 60s, had a career that spanned more than 30 years and is described as the original ‘IT’ girl.

She is known most for creating a distinctive soul sound that seemed to encompass pop, blues and country all at once. She died in 1999 of breast cancer.

The Movie Version: Nick Hurran is set to direct the film, based on the biography of the same name, which is being penned by Ray Connelly ( That’ll Be The Day ) and is set to explore the singer’s entire life.

Why We're Excited: Dusty Springfield is a 60s legend and an icon and it’s about time we got to see the story behind the music.

Burns

The True Story: Scotland’s most famous son Robert Burns was a poet whose works are now globally acclaimed poet.

He was at the forefront of the Romantic movement and has become a national icon, partly in thanks to an easily accessible style.

His love life is a little messier though, fathering a child with his mother’s servant, while also getting his eventual wife pregnant with twins. Later on, he fell in love with Mary Campbell and dedicated many poems to her. He died in 1795.

The Movie Version: A long-gestating project that has had Gerard Butler attached to star for quite some time.

Julia Stiles, Brian Cox and John Hannah were also lined up for the film at one point, which has been penned by Alan Sharp (who wrote Rob Roy) and is said to be the ‘Scottish Shakespeare In Love ’.

Unfortunately the film has stalled several times due to lack of funding.

Why We're Excited: We just want to see Gerard Butler in centuries-old garb, talking in poetic imagery.

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