Johnny Rotten Coming to the Screen

06/27/2002 at 12:02 PM EDT

A feature-film biography of Sex Pistols' frontman Johnny Rotten (real name: John Lydon) has been given the green light, says the Hollywood Reporter, with "Wayne's World" and "The Beverly Hillbillies" director Penelope Spheeris, 56, set to bring it before the cameras. The $8 million production is being produced by Rhino Films and Panacea Entertainment and will be based on Lydon's 1994 autobiography, "Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs," says the trade paper. The movie will also track the birth of the punk-rock movement in Britain in the '70s. Rotten, 46, who lost the feeling in some fingers after he was once knifed at a Pistols concert, left the group in 1978. Personality clashes were blamed for his departure. "Johnny Rotten hasn't really gotten credit for all that he did with the band," Spheeris told the Reporter. "I think it's time that people understand from his perspective what happened back then." An unknown is expected to be cast as Rotten, with an open casting call in England in the offing. Actors need to be 18 to 21 years old to apply, a production executive told the trade paper. Production should begin late this winter. Regarding how the film will look and feel, Spheeris said: "Being that it's punk rock, I think it has to be pretty fast and furious and raggedy."

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