A proposed new Morrissey biopic will be a “love letter” to its subject, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker behind the project said.
The film, which has a working title of Steven, will focus on the singer’s formative years in his home city of Manchester, before he formed The Smiths with songwriting partner Johnny Marr.
The film will be directed by Mark Gill, whose short film The Voorman Problem, starring Tom Hollander and Martin Freeman, received an Academy Award nomination.
Gill said: “The film covers Morrissey’s life pre-Smiths and is more of a portrait than a conventional biopic. It’s as much a film for non-Morrissey fans as it is for die-hard devotees, but I can’t deny that this is a love letter to Steven Patrick Morrissey and the dark satanic mills of Manchester.”
Morrissey, currently touring the US after recovering from illness, has given no indication that he will endorse the film. He wrote at length about his childhood years in Manchester in his best-selling autobiography, published last year.
Author William Thacker is writing the screenplay for Steven, which is scheduled to start filming at the end of the year. Producer Orian Williams and casting director Shaheen Baig previously worked on Control, a biopic about Ian Curtis, the Joy Division singer.
Focusing on Steven Patrick Morrissey’s earlier years mean the filmmakers can avoid the difficulties and expense of seeking permission to use The Smiths’ music.