Last year MTV hit its 30th anniversary, and although I haven’t watched it in over a decade, and they probably haven’t played on music in at least that long, like many I pine for the good old days of the channel.
MTV was a major revelation to me, as it was for millions of other kids all around the world, and I will always have very fond memories of the time I spent watching it when I was growing up.
Last October came the book I Want My MTV, which covered the beginning of the channel up to 1992, and within the book are a number of parallel narratives, including the business behind the channel’s creation, as well as a shadow history of a number of genres that MTV helped take to new heights, especially new wave, metal, and rap.
There was talk going around there was interest in making the book into a movie, which you hear about a lot of music books, but the question is always how do you adapt it. There was talk of making Slash’s autobiography a movie, but with Axl sure to refuse the GNR music rights it won’t happen, and Motley Crue’s The Dirt failed to launch at Paramount.
Now the news has hit Variety and The Hollywood Reporter that efforts to get I Want My MTV on the big screen are indeed going forward, with Jody Lambert, who wrote the upcoming sci-fi flick People Like Us, onboard to pen the script. (People Like Us, formerly known as Welcome to People, is the directing debut of Alex Kurtzman, who co-wrote the Transformers series and Cowboys and Aliens with Roberto Orci).
Now for the bad news: This effort’s being spearheaded by alleged director Brett Ratner, who recently lost his gig helming the Oscars by making a complete fool out of himself in public, something he’s far more adept at than making movies. Ratner’s production company, Rat Entertainment, is negotiating to make the movie, though it’s unclear if Ratner will direct or not. Let’s hope not.
There’s definitely more than one narrative this film can take, which is what makes I Want My MTV an interesting read. If you’re not interested in one part of the book, (frankly, I could have cared less about the House of Style chapter), you can jump over to another.
One key in the book is someone compared an MTV executive to Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook, and I’m willing to bet that’s what this movie will be, a redo of The Social Network with the executives behind the scenes trying to get this scrappy little network off the ground, and it ends up changing the world. Whether the movie gets off the ground still remains to be seen.