Published May 04, 2016In addition to an in-the-works biopic on the life of Morrissey, a film about a deranged Smiths fan holding up a Denver radio station will apparently be hitting screens sometime in the near future. Starring True Blood/Magic Mike actor Joe Manganiello as a DJ/hostage, the project is going by the Smiths-centric name of Shoplifters of the World.
Plans for the film have apparently been in the works for a while, but Showbiz 411 now reports that Manganiello is attached to star in the flick, which takes place at a Denver radio station in 1987 on the day the Smiths announced their breakup. The plot has a crazed fan holding the staff hostage at gunpoint so that they can play the Smiths on the radio. Rather than hang the DJ, he's ready to shoot him.
It's added that Manganiello's brother Nick and Laura Rister are set to produce for 359 Inc. The screenplay was written by Stephen Kijak, who had previously worked on Scott Walker documentary 30th Century Man, Rolling Stones film Stones in Exile and the recent We Are X doc about Japanese rock group X.
Back in 2012, Deadline wrote that Jessica Brown Findlay, Zosia Mamet, Skylar Astin, Jeremy Allen White, and Thomas Brodie Sangster had been tapped to star in the film, though this is currently unconfirmed.
Manganiello had also explained back in 2014 that Morrissey had sanctioned the film, telling Collider that the singer had licensed music from the Smiths catalogue to Kijak for a "nice, affordable fee."
"Well, it's not cheap, by any stretch of the imagination, but we have Morrissey's blessing to move forward with a the Smiths project," Manganiello said at the time. "I'm a huge the Smiths fan. It's just really great to be afforded the opportunity to go out and tell stories that I'm really excited and passionate about, like that one."
Manganiello, who recently starred as Pee-wee Herman's pal in Pee-wee's Big Holiday, seemed to be confused by the recent Showbiz 411 article, which labelled the Smiths a "punk" band. L.A. Rancid gig, and the singer's solo recordings with late Blink-182 producer Jerry Finn, there's really only a few degrees of separation between Moz and the mohawked sect.
While Shoplifters of the World is described as being "inspired by real events," police reports from 1988 note that Colorado resident James Kiss lost his nerve once he entered Top 40 station Y108 with a rifle, six Smiths cassette and a Morrissey album. He was quickly relieved of his gun before the police came to pick him up. He was arrested for suspicion of attempted first-degree kidnapping and extortion, but the district attorney decided to not pursue the charges.
All the same, the story of the proposed hold-up has travelled around for years. It also inspired a 1994 comedy called Airheads that starred Brendan Fraser and Steve Buscemi, about a metal band that pulled a similar heist.