Back in 2002 (yes, this is another “20 years ago” post), it was announced that former SNL cast member, and WAYNE’S WORLD/AUSTIN POWERS superstar, Mike Myers, might step into the shoes of the legendary drummer for the Who, Keith Moon, for a biopic entitled SEE ME FEEL ME: KEITH MOON NAKED FOR YOUR PLEASURE.
From the pages of Entertainment Weekly (Gary Susman, July 9, 2002):
“Having played Austin Powers in three movies, including this month’s upcoming ‘Austin Powers in Goldmember,’ Mike Myers may be ready to play another relic of swinging ‘60s London: Keith Moon, the founding drummer for the Who. ‘I have talked to Roger Daltrey about the possibility of a film,’ Myers tells the Associated Press. ‘I think Keith Moon was a fascinating character.’ For his part, lead singer Daltrey has long wanted to make a film about his late colleague, who was as famous for smashing hotel rooms as for smashing his drum kit at the end of Who concerts. ‘Mike is a genius. I can really see him as Keith. He’s amazing when you meet him, so clever,’ Daltrey tells AP.”
At the time, Myers was 39, six years older than Moon was when he died from a massive overdose in 1978. The age difference didn’t raise many eyebrows as it seemed an inspired choice that had a good chance of working, but apparently the project got stuck in development hell as the news faded, and a few years passed.
In 2005, plans for the biopic, with Myers attached, and Daltrey as producer, resurfaced. But another name was being batted around in consideration for the role – Jason Schwarztman, best known for his work with Wes Anderson, and as an drummer (Phantom Planet, Coconut Records).
It’s true Schwartzman has the look, but could he handle the accent duties as well as Myers? Probably not, producer Daltrey probably thought, as Myers continued being the #1 choice for the iconic part.
But nothing happened with the proposed production, and more years passed. By the time it reared it’s mop-haired head again in 2014, Myers’ age appropriateness for the part couldn’t so easily be ignored. Co-producer Nigel Sinclair justified the casting to Hollywood.com; “Mike looks very young and Keith, of course, looked much older than he was.”
And, yet again, another younger actor was cited as being interested in portraying Moon – Jeremy Piven. I’m glad this idea has been long abandoned, because, well, look at him – that would be likely be a miscasting mess.
Talk of Myers as Moon would come up here and there over the years since, but that’s all it was – talk. As late as last year, there were reports that Myers was still in the running, but he’s now 59 years old, and that ship should’ve sailed a long time ago. The film, which has an IMDb page with little to no information about the production, apparently still seems to be in the works, but no name has been attached for the looney lead.
Now titled THE REAL ME, the film aims to join in the musical biopic trend boosted by such successes as BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY and ROCKETMAN. Earlier this year, Manori Ravindran reported in Varity that the movie has “Moon’s former band members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend on board as executive producers. The pic is directed by Paul Whittington (The Crown, White House Farm) with a script from prolific British screenwriter Jeff Pope, who was Oscar-nominated for PHILOMENA.”
So for two decades, the premise of Myers as Moon has come and gone over and over, but it looks like it’s finally been put to bed. I was reminded of all this casting activity he other night when I was watching Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s 2014 vampire mockumentary, WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, and noted that actor Jonathan Brough had an uncanny resemblance to Moon in the very funny feature. His rough, rowdy demeanor is Moon-esque as well, so I think he’d be a great choice for THE REAL ME.
On the subject of age, Brugh’s Wikipedia page has no info on his birthday so it’s unknown old he is, which may be because he really is a vampire and it’s a cover-up. Whatever the case, I bet he could crush it as Moon. Otherwise, a hungry unknown who’s got the chops would be a great idea. It could be a star-making tour de force in the right hands.
Still, Myers’ Moon is an epic could-have-been that’s fun to speculate about. Perhaps, like he was used as a record executive in BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, he could cameo in a minor yet juicy sideline part as a Moon overseer or some such. Yeah, that would be groovy, baby. And after that Austin Powers callback, I’ll show myself the door.