Joe Elliott on the Problem With Potential Def Leppard Biopic
Joe Elliott argued that any potential Def Leppard biopic would be overshadowed by the two principal tragedies in the band’s history: the 1984 car wreck that robbed drummer Rick Allen of his arm and the 1991 death of guitarist Steve Clark.
Since the explosion of successful rock movies such as Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and Motley Crue’s The Dirt, Def Leppard has come under the spotlight as a fresh target for the big screen – but Elliott accepted that those two pivotal moments would inevitably be the focal points for reporters and reviewers.
“There’s always something being discussed, but let’s not forget there was an MTV movie in 1999 that was fucking awful,” the singer told the U.K.'s Metro paper, referring to 2001's VH1-produced Hysteria – The Def Leppard Story. "It was low-budget, badly researched, and I had to intervene at one stage to say, ‘You can’t put Phil [Collen] in the band while we’re doing High ‘n’ Dry.’ We’d get slaughtered by our fans.”
On the flip side, he added: “Anything that happens from here on will be a hell of a lot more accurate. There is a story to tell, but the only problem is from a media perspective it’s just about two big things: Rick’s arm and Steve’s death. After that, there isn’t much that would surprise anyone. ... We’d have to pull out a lot of truths that were never told to make it interesting.”
Elliott also pointed out that a large-scale movie would directly affect his lifestyle: “I can walk down the street in a Def Leppard shirt on show day and no one knows who I am!”