Dylan’s ‘Blood on the Tracks’ as a film? 10 albums seeking scripts

by Geoff Boucher and Randall Roberts

Los Angeles Times (MCT)

9 April 2012


LOS ANGELES — A Brazilian production company has acquired the rights to Bob Dylan’s landmark 1975 album “Blood on the Tracks” for an English-language feature film, according to Variety, and considering the imagery of “Shelter From the Storm,” “Buckets of Rain,” “Idiot Wind” and “Tangled Up in Blue,” there could be lot of bad weather up on the screen.

“Our goal is to work with a filmmaker who can create a classic drama with characters and an environment that capture the feelings that the album inspires in all fans,” one of the producers told Variety. Maybe they’re on to something here — we can think of 10 other classic albums we’d like to see on the big screen.

—Meatloaf’s “Bat Out of Hell”: Operatic, overwrought and and catchy, this 1977 tapestry of sexed-up youth with no place to go could be “Hairspray” meets “SuperBad” ... or “Glee” with leather pants.

—Guns N’ Roses’ “Appetite for Destruction”: Starring Tilda Swinton as an androgynous Axl Rose lookalike named Mr. Brownstone and Sasha Baron Cohen as a Slash-headed transvestite named the Rocket Queen, “Appetite: The Movie” could have the feel of a superhero flick. (Plot: Brownstone battles the Queen for control of a post-apocalyptic Sunset Strip, where a genetically evolved race of super-landlords called Adlers have kidnapped Brownstone’s love interest, Sweet Child.)

—Bruce Springsteen’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town”: Any album by the Boss could be turned into cinema of hope and despair, but the tracks on this 1978 collection already read like titles from a film score: “Streets of Fire,” “Badlands,” “The Promised Land,” “Something in the Night.”

—The Clash, “London Calling”: “Jimmy Jazz”? “Guns of Brixton”? Somebody get Guy Ritchie ...

—Arcade Fire, “The Suburbs”: Set in suburbia, of course (which suggests either Gus Van Sant or Mike Mills at the helm), this ode to teen angst and despair in the outer ring could easily be made for $10 million. In fact, by the time you’re done reading this, “The Suburbs” treatment will have already made it onto the Black List.

—De La Soul, “3 Feet High and Rising”: A neon-colored ode to the Daisy Age — think “Yo Gabba Gabba” meets “Shrek” — the tracks on De La Soul’s classic hip-hop album are perfect for a G-rated animated feature. The song titles write the script for you: “The Magic Number,” “Potholes on My Lawn,” “Buddy,” “Transmitting Live from Mars,” and other multi-colored images will drive the kids crazy.

—Neutral Milk Hotel, “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”: The classic psychedelic indie rock concept album would work as a stop-motion animated film — but, then, dozens of grad students have probably already done this.

—Kanye West, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”: The title alone should guarantee a $20 million opening weekend — and quadruple that if West can snag Taylor Swift to commit to the female lead.

—Slayer, “Reign in Blood”: Four horsemen, swords, daggers, buxom women — “Game of Thrones” meets “Saw.”

—The Traveling Wilburys, “The Traveling Wilburys”: An Adam McKay-directed buddy comedy starring Will Ferrell as Jeff Lynne, Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan, Russell Brand as George Harrison, Jonah Hill as Roy Orbison and Kristin Wiig as Tom Petty. We’re thinking “The Three Stooges” meets “Grumpy Old Men.”

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