A biopic is on the way for The Replacements, the punk band that emerged from Minneapolis in the early 1980s and later turned towards a more pop-oriented sound as the decade turned to the ’90s.
Josh Boone, the director of The Fault in Our Stars and The New Mutants, revealed in a recent interview that his next film is a biopic of the ‘mats, which will be based on author Bob Mehr’s best-selling biography of the band from 2017, Troubled Boys. Nat Wolff is set to play frontman Paul Westerberg, while Owen Teague will play bassist Tommy Stinson – at least, as an adult, since Tommy was 12 years old when the band first formed. Additional casting is also underway.
The Replacements formed in Minneapolis in 1979, and also consisted of guitarist Bob Stinson and drummer Chris Mars. The band was known for their drunken performances, including during a famous Saturday Night Live performance in 1986.
The band had popular albums like Hootenanny, Let It Be, and Tim, and famous songs such as “Kiss Me On the Bus,” “Here Comes a Regular,” “Skyway,” “Bastards of Young,” “Alex Chilton,” and “Color Me Impressed.”
The Replacements broke up in 1991, but the group briefly reunited in 2012 to record a charity EP called Songs For Slim, after former guitarist Slim Dunlap suffered a stroke. The band went on to perform a series of concerts in 2013 and some festival dates in 2014, before they returned to 30 Rock – from where they’d been banned after the SNL fiasco nearly 30 years earlier – to perform on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show. The band toured again in 2015, but has not reunited again since.
Can a movie about The Replacements succeed? They’re presumably going to have access to the band’s catalog of music, and the cooperation of the surviving band members, and hopefully the filmmakers can faithfully create 1980s Minneapolis, as well as other locations of the group’s travels. Mehr’s book, the reported source material, is highly regarded, for what it’s worth.
The key will be that the film about this famously hard-partying and volatile band isn’t sanitized, a la Bohemian Rhapsody.
Assuming it gets underway soon, the Replacements’ movie is certainly one to look forward to for fans of the group.
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.