Frankie Goes To Hollywood biopic ‘Relax’ in the works with ‘It’s A Sin’ star Callum Scott Howells
It has been confirmed that a Frankie Goes To Hollywood biopic is in the works, and will feature It’s A Sin star Callum Scott Howells.
Just a few days since Frankie Goes To Hollywood reformed for the first time in almost four decades, it has been announced that they will be the subject of a new biopic, titled Relax.
Named after their 1983 hit single, the movie is being developed by UK production companies Working Title (Bridget Jones, Les Miserables) and Independent Entertainment, and will be based on the memoir from frontman Holly Johnson, A Bone In My Flute. It has also been confirmed that it will star It’s A Sin breakout start, Callum Scott Howells, as the band’s leading man.
Producers include Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Luc Roeg, and the film was written by Bernard Rose — the director for the original ‘Relax’ music video, as well as the 1992 horror Candyman.
“Frankie Goes To Hollywood were an unflinching ground-breaking band that paved the way for so many young performers today,” said Roeg of the upcoming project (via Deadline). “We can’t think of anyone better than Bernard Rose, and our talented young lead, Callum Scott Howells, to bring this iconic moment in pop history to life.”
Rose also commented on the project, and explained how the idea for the biopic arose: “Combining the wit of The Beatles, the power of The Rolling Stones and the outrage of the Sex Pistols, Frankie Goes To Hollywood went from unemployed Liverpudlians to Kings of pop on the back of their epic banned record ‘Relax’.
“Their epic rise, bringing the then deeply underground S+M and LGBTQ club scene screaming into the limelight, is the energetic and moving story of underdogs that win one for the ages,” he continued. “I was very much a part of the hoopla, having directed the original ‘banned’ ‘Relax’ video and I want to bring that innocent and daring world of 1984 back to life for a new audience today.”
The band are most renowned for the title song, which celebrates homosexual love and was banned by the BBC in 1984. It later became the sixth best-selling UK single of all time. The band split three years later, reportedly due to a fight before a show at Wembley Stadium.
Although details on the biopic remain vague, the movie is expected to explore the cultural impact of the song, as well as the internal dynamics between the band members.
Earlier this month (May 7), the band’s classic line-up reunited for their first show in 36 years to open the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.
The synth-pop legends’ – Holly Johnson, Brian Nash, Paul Rutherford, Mark O’Toole and Peter Gill – played a small set in their Liverpool hometown as part of the 2023 opening ceremony.