A rock version of ‘The Threepenny Opera’ in the works

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At the Berlin Film Festival, Andy Serkis (Gollum in ‘The Hobbit' films), who was promoting his biopic ‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll' about British punk rocker Ian Dury, announced he is collaborating with Australian musician Nick Cave on an update of the classic tale of ‘The Threepenny Opera.'

The plan is to create a motion-capture version of the Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill musical which was first performed in Berlin in 1928. A critique of capitalism, it centers on the nefarious character of Macheath and has enjoyed high-profile stagings around the world, including the 1990 film, ‘Mack the Knife,' starring the late Raul Julia with Bill Nighy, Richard Harris, and The Who's Roger Daltrey.

Cave whose songs have appeared in films such as ‘Sin Hombre' and ‘Batman Forever' and has scored films, most recently The Road, is expected to oversee the music, and perhaps add his rendition of the jazz standard, "Mack the Knife," to the dozens recorded, such as Bobby Darin's 1959 hit.

It is assumed Serkis will take on the title role in this animated version. The film portrayal of Dury, already released in the UK, depicts the rock star's childhood polio, his climb in the punk rock scene. Naomie Harris (‘Pirates of the Caribbean') and Ray Winstone (‘The Departed') plays his father in the film.