Sons of Anarchy fans might be disappointed to see the motorbike crime drama leaving their screens after season 7, but there looks like there could be something on the horizon to replace it.
Writer-prodocer Rob Weiss (Entourage) is apparently delivering a feature film about the life-and-times of Hells Angel legend, Sonny Barger. The project, which is over at Fox 2000, has been in development for some time, and was originally devised to be directed by the late Tony Scott. His version of the film would feature a police officer attempting to infiltrate the Hells Angels, however, it seems Weiss will be rewriting and taking the project in a more biopic direction. According to Deadline, it will take some of its inspiration written from books written by Barger himself.
Barger helped found the Oakland chapter of the Hells Angels motorbike gang in 1957. Since then he rose up the ranks until he became defacto leader - expanding the 'franchise'/organised crime gang across America. Weiss had this to say:
We’re approaching this as a genesis story of the motorcycle club culture. I’ve wanted to do something in the biker space for a long time. It's a period piece that explores the early days of the club, the philosophy of the formidable, most loyal brotherhood that started it and what drove Sonny, who had the leadership and the vision to expand the club. And he did so amid almost unsurmountable obstacles like rival clubs and law enforcement. His life is a metaphor for the wild ride that is set against a very shifting America.
Although the Hells Angels have created an almost desirable reputation as a gang of anti-hero outlaws (my ex-girlfriend's biker father once told me everyone on a Harley-Davidson secretly pretends they're in the Hells Angels), for others they're basically organised street thugs on wheels.
Indeed, any biopic about the Hells Angels will no doubt have to include the 1969 Rolling Stones Altamont concert in Northern California. The Hells Angels were employed on security detail for the main stage, however, reportedly, the bikers got into fights with fans, leaving a pregnant woman with a skull fracture and another young man stabbed to death. Following this event the more benign reputation of the gang dissolved as the police became increasingly interested in their activities and actions.
Barger himself has done several spells in prison, including being arrested for conspiracy to violate federal firearms and explosives laws in a plot to murder members of a rival motorcycle gang. He also served another stint for possession of heroin and cocaine in the famous Folsom Prison.
What do you think? Does this sound like an interesting premise for a biopic? Let us know below.
Are you interested in a Sonny Barger biopic?