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30 Best Biopics Currently In Development

Something Wonderful

The True Story: Louis Armstong – also known as Satchmo – transcended racial boundaries of the time to become a hugely popular jazz trumpeter and singer.

He initially grew up in a poor, rough neighbourhood in New Orleans but, thanks to a warm personality, gravel-swallowing voice and inventive music skills he became a household name in the 20s and allowed him to enjoy a long career. He died of a heart attack in 1971 aged 69.

The Movie Version: Forest Whitaker is the man behind this biopic, hoping to both direct and star in the film. He is currently developing the script with Rain Man scribe Ron Bass, which will concentrate on the “myth” of the man, telling the story from both Armstrong’s point of view and that of his mentally challenged adoptive son.

Why We're Excited: A jazz-focused biopic spanning a 40-year career for one of the biggest personalities in music sounds enticing enough, but add a home-grown, down-to-earth twist on it and we’re instantly in awards territory.

The Passenger

The True Story: Scraggy punk rock singer Iggy Pop is best known for his wild onstage antics as frontman for The Stooges, which includes exposing himself to the audience and vomiting.

He is also credited with being the first rock star to perform a stage-dive.

Although more in control of his career now, with several film and TV appearances under his belt as well as a reunion with The Stooges, Iggy had a temperamental relationship with his band and resorted to heavy drug use, at one point even checking himself in to a mental institution as a result.

The Movie Version: The long-mooted biopic was originally going to be directed by Nick Gomez with Elijah Wood attached to star.

Iggy gave his blessing to the script but the project has gone very quiet for a couple of years.

Why We're Excited: We are DESPERATE to see Frodo leaping about onstage like a lunatic.


The True Story: Mauricio Gucci was the head of the Gucci fashion brand, before he sold his stock for $170 million in 1993. Two years later, he was murdered by a professional hitman hired by his ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani.

The Movie Version: At one point Ridley Scott was attached to direct this film, which focuses more on wife Patricia than its namesake, and Angelina Jolie was set to star.

Since then, Ridley’s daughter Jordan Scott has taken over the reins and the last word on the casting saw Penelope Cruz in line for the lead role.

Why We're Excited: It’s a tale of glamorous intrigue and a mystery, set against the backdrop of high fashion.

Untitled John McAfee project

The True Story: Computer programmer and founder of McAfee, Inc, John McAfee made a fortune and then lost almost all of it when the global recession hit.

During a stint in Belize, McAfee was arrested on a drug manufacturing charge and was later questioned in connection with a murder. In an interview with Wired magazine in 2012, McAfee claimed that he had always been scared of being killed by police, while the Belize PM called him “extremely paranoid”.

He was later arrested in Guatemala and claimed to fake a heart attack in order to buy time until his release.

The Movie Version: Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, the scribes behind Man On The Moon and Ed Wood , are penning a script which will concentrate on McAfee’s time in Belize.

Why We're Excited: Frankly, this sounds like a bizarre tale that needs to be told.


The True Story: Actress and the ultimate pin-up, Marilyn Monroe is easily the most iconic of Hollywood starlets.

Her extensive film career was dogged by behind-the-scenes problems , including troubled relationships and drug use. She died in 1962 from a drug overdose at just 36.

The Movie Version: Andrew Dominik ( Chopper , The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford , Killing Them Softly ) is directing this film with Naomi Watts set to star and, unlike the recent My Week With Marilyn , the film is set to explore her whole life from the age of 7 to when she dies.

Why We're Excited: It looks set to be a comprehensive study into the descent in addiction that Hollywood so often causes.

The Drummer

The True Story: He may not be an obvious choice for a biopic, seemingly overshadowed by brother Brian who has his own film in development, but Dennis Wilson has quite the story.

Originally just the heartthrob drummer of The Beach Boys (he was also the only one who could actually surf), Dennis eventually stepped up when Brian Wilson left the band due to his mental ill-health and co-wrote some surprisingly heartfelt songs.

Throw in a healthy dose of sex and some dubious ties to Charles Manson, and we have a life story that is truly fascinating.

The Movie Version: Aaron Eckhart provides good beach bombshell likeness in the lead role, while Rupert Grint and Chloe Moretz fill out the supporting cast.

The film is set to chronicle the last six years of Wilson’s life before his death.

Why We're Excited: There’s so much sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll and questionable events that occur in the history of one of pop’s supposedly squeaky clean bands, that we need some light shed on it all.

Red Blooded American

The True Story: A former sporting champion turned disgrace to the profession when it was revealed that he had been using performance-enhancing drugs.

In 1996, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and had to undergo chemotherapy.

His subsequent recovery and success in competitive cycling was held up as a monument of inspiration to other cancer sufferers and he went on to win the Tour de France a record seven times between 1999 and 2005.

However, in 2012, Armstrong was charged with doping offences, stripped of his titles and given a lifetime ban.

The Movie Version: There are actually three competing Armstrong in the works, but the one we’re most excited about – and the one which seems to have most traction – is Red-Blooded American, which has Bradley Cooper attached to star and comedy director Jay Roach to call the shots.

Why We're Excited: We have to admit, we’re a little intrigued as to how this will play out, with the scandal still fresh in everyone’s mind.

But if there’s anyone who can play a charming liar, it’s Bradley Cooper.


The True Story: Tupac Shakur was a successful rapper and actor in the early-to-mid 90s, often concentrating on violent themes and frequently speaking out as part of the East Coast/West Coast hip hop rivalry. He was shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting in 1996 and died six days later. He has since become one of the best-selling music artists in the world and a inspirational cult figure across the globe.

The Movie Version: Morgan Creek Productions and Emmett/Furla Films are set to start shooting their Tupac biopic in Atlanta in 2014.

The film is being executively produced by Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur and is said to focus on the rapper's life. There's no news yet on who will star or direct.

Why We're Excited: It will be 8 Mile crossed with Menace II Society . In fact, look out for those exact words on the poster.

The Last Of Robin Hood

The True Story: Errol Flynn became known as the devilishly handsome swashbuckling actor that ruled Hollywood throughout the late 30s and 40s and who famously enjoyed a playboy lifestyle.

His rise to movie stardom and many presumed high-profile flings are a story in themselves, but the tale ends in tragedy when Flynn – who was Australian born – became an American citizen and tried to join the armed services. Unfortunately, he failed the medical due to a heart problem, and while not wanting to reveal his health issues to the public, his popularity took a nosedive as a result.

He ended up out of favour in Hollywood and became financially ruined, choosing to spend much of his time sailing around the Mediterranean and drinking heavily. He eventually died from a heart attack in 1959 aged 50.

The Movie Version: Kevin Kline stars as the screen legend in this already-wrapped and coming soon biopic that details Flynn’s last remaining years of his life and his last ‘love’… 17-year-old Beverly Aadland (played by Dakota Fanning).

To make things even more unsavoury, Flynn first started dated Aadland when she was only 15, a relationship encouraged by her own ambitious mother Florence (played by Susan Sarandon).

Why We're Excited: It has a great cast and a bitter tale of gormer glory to tell, even if it might spoil the memory of a Hollywood great who we’d rather remember as a swashbuckling hero.

My Dinner With Herve

The True Story: Hervé Villechaize is best known for his roles as Nick Nack in The Man With The Golden Gun and Tattoo in TV show Fantasy Island . The diminutive French star suffered from proportionate dwarfism and as such was bullied extensively throughout his childhood, taking comfort in painting, at which he became very accomplished.

He taught himself English from watching television and started acting in Off Brodway productions until his big break in a Bond movie.

Sadly, Villechaize shot himself in 1993 when he was 50, leaving a suicide note blaming long-term health complaints.

The Movie Version: Sacha Gervasi, who had interviewed Villechaize a short time prior to his suicide, has been working on a script for the film with Game Of Thrones star Peter Dinklage, who will take the lead.

The biopic is set to focus on the last few days of Villechaize’s life.

Why We're Excited: We’d be excited at any Peter Dinklage casting news but having him play cult icon Hervé Villechaize is too tantalising, especially as the film sounds like it could be an interesting glimpse into the mind of a suicidal star.