Dolly Parton and 5 Music Movies Hollywood Needs to Make After ‘Elvis’

The stars seem to be aligning for Elvis. The biopic movie starring Austin Butler won’t be the first time someone plays The King on the screen, but this is the first time Elvis Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, says a movie about her dad is actually done right. Since Elvis seems primed for success, we wanted to share our ideas for a Dolly Parton film and five more music movies Hollywood needs to make next.

Dolly Parton during a 1976 performance. A film about Parton is one of the music movies Hollywood should make next after 'Elvis' hits theaters.
Dolly Parton | David Redfern/Redferns

1. Dolly Parton

Let’s be honest — a Dolly Parton music movie could spend its entire run time focusing on just the last few years. Between donating $1 million to pediatric disease research, giving money to help develop a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, and debuting her own ice cream flavor, there’s no shortage of enthralling Dolly stories to include in a biopic about her.

We’re still waiting for a Parton music movie, but the legend herself weighed and tagged Reese Witherspoon to play her on the screen. Parton carved her own path during her successful career, and we need to see the highlights on film.

2. The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones’ 60-year career has enough wild moments — the Beatles vs. Stones rivalry of the 60s, tax evasion, run-ins with police, and drug addiction — that a biopic might have to span several movies. Still, one of the biggest bands of all time deserves a thorough dissection on the screen.

The bonus to getting this music biopic made? There’s an easy way to tie the Stones’ classic career into the biopic of Marianne Faithfull, Jagger’s former girlfriend, which is currently in the works with Bohemian Rhapsody’s Lucy Boynton attached to star (per IMDb).

3. Little Richard

The person who claimed to have invented rock n roll and taught Paul McCartney everything he knows? Yeah, we definitely need a biopic of Little Richard. 

Elvis might have had the public title, but Little Richard considered himself the architect of rock ‘n roll. His style of songwriting, singing, and piano playing influenced several major artists to come after him, including Elvis, who covered two of Little Richard’s innovative songs

4. The Clash

It’s difficult to tell the story of punk rock without including The Clash. The challenge of making a music movie about the influential British band is limiting it to a reasonable running time. There’s a lot of ground to cover. 

Mick Jones and Joe Strummer piloted the band to be one of the biggest in the world with a string of seminal albums, but they also had an acrimonious split in the early 1980s when Strummer kicked out Jones.

Then, Strummer strained under the pressure of keeping The Clash going before the band completely dissolved. Still, at their peak, The Clash penned several classic songs and influenced a generation of musicians who used punk as a springboard to explore other musical styles.

5. Guns N’ Roses

Axl Rose, Slash, and company tore through Los Angeles in the late 1980s with a swagger and edge that unofficially signaled the end of the synth-pop that ruled the early part of the decade. The multi-platinum Appetite for Destruction cemented GNR as one of the biggest bands on the planet, and the peak of the band’s career produced enough moments for a music movie: 

  • Rose recording a sexual encounter with a bandmate’s girlfriend and putting it on an album;
  • A riot at a St. Louis concert;
  • Another riot at a tragic concert in Montreal; 
  • The decision to release two Use Your Illusion albums simultaneously just before the band all but disappeared for years.

The trick with this music movie we’d love to see would be avoiding the dreaded NC-17 rating.

6. Nirvana

Hollywood needs to make a music biopic about Nirvana. Similar to the other artists we’ve mentioned, it’s hard to tell the story of the last 50 years of music without mentioning Nirvana.

Guns N’ Roses signaled a shift in musical tastes in the late 1980s; Nirvana did the same in the early 1990s. The story of Nirvana’s formation — Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic meeting in school — early years, breakthrough with Nevermind after adding Dave Grohl on drums, and tragically short career would make for a compelling music movie.

The rumor is we could see a Nirvana documentary in the future, but a more narrative biopic about one of the most popular bands of the 90s is one of the music movies Hollywood needs to make ASAP.

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