Sex Pistols Miniseries Director Applauds Johnny Rotten's Anger Towards Show

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

May 23, 2022

Pistol miniseries director Danny Boyle thinks Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon's constant attacks against the biopic series are a good sign.

Speaking with The Guardian ahead of the FX-produced series' Hulu premiere on May 31, Boyle admitted he's not sure how the series will resonate today, but he's just happy he got to make it.

If there's one thing the show highlights from the Sex Pistols' story, it's the band's unrepentant individuality. Boyle notes that Lydon, a.k.a Johnny Rotten, has every right to despise Pistol; his rage is perhaps his greatest contribution to our culture, after all.

"Oh, he's the genius," the director said of the frontman. "I mean, obviously, you can't make a series about him because he's unmanageable. Everyone knows that. So to get this book from [Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones] is like a side door in. It allows you to look at the whole group. But you have to acknowledge there's a genius in there and it's Rotten. He's the person that changed everything, a key cultural figure in our landscape. I love Lydon for what he does and I don't want him to like it — I want him to attack it. I think that's his absolute right. Why would you change the habit of a lifetime?"

Lydon has taken great pains to distance himself from the Pistol series and repeatedly criticized his surviving Sex Pistols bandmates and Boyle for their involvement.

The punk icon sued the production last year, trying to get a court to block it from using Sex Pistols music. He ultimately lost the lawsuit and claimed he'd gone into "financial ruin" fighting it.

The frontman has complained that he was excluded from being part of the show's production and that the ultimate result is a watered down, exploitation of the Sex Pistols' story and "the most disrespectful s--t I've ever had to endure."

Lydon's surviving Pistols bandmates have quarreled with his assertions that he alone can tell the band's true story. Drummer Paul Cook added in one statement last year that the rest of the band has always been supportive of Lydon's post-Sex Pistols work; the miniseries is "an important personal project for Steve."

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