‘Downton Abbey’ Director Will Helm Rolling Stones Movie About ‘Exile on Main St.’ Sessions

     June 13, 2016

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The Rolling Stones are no strangers to the cinema format. Forget all the times Martin Scorsese used their music to give his similarly violent, erotic, and insidious imagery a little extra gasoline. Just think about the line of documentaries that have been made on the career of arguably the greatest rock & roll band in the history of time. The Maysles brothers  captured the band’s infectious energy, and the fractious culture they came to represent, in Gimme Shelter, most famously, but then there’s similarly striking works like Charlie Is My Darling, Cocksucker Blues, and Crossfire Hurricane that chronicle the band’s creative process. Heck, even Scorsese jumped on the train and directed a concert film for the band, namely Shine a Light.

rolling-stones-mick-jaggerNow, the band will seemingly be given the full-tilt narrative treatment with an upcoming movie about the making of one of their very best records, Exile on Main St. The film will be directed by Andy Goddard, who has been a major creative force on the BBC’s Downton Abbey, and has helmed some of that series’ most evocative and challenging episodes. Deadline reports that the title of the film will be Exile on Main Street: A Season in Hell with The Rolling Stones, based on Robert Greenfield‘s book about the long-running band, with Brandon and Philip Murphy writing the script for the film. The movie will hopefully begin shooting later this year, and the roles of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are being cast right now.


Mind you, the French summer of 1971, wherein the Stones recorded Exile on Main St., has been covered before in Stones in Exile, Stephen Kijak‘s fleet-footed, pretty fantastic documentary about the recording sessions. Kijak, who has also directed a doc on the iconic Scott Walker, gave a full sense of the personal ruptures, addictions, and strife that went into the chaotic but ultimately intensely fruitful sessions that yielded the record, and one hopes Goddard, who has also directed for Daredevil, will similarly get a sense of the creative bedlam. Still, the major draw of the project will be in seeing how performers get under the skins of Jagger and Richards, as well as the rest of the legendary band and their extensive entourage. Fingers crossed neither of them are played by Douglas Booth.

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