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Danny Boyle hopes John Lydon will “attack” his Sex Pistols series


Danny Boyle is certainly the glutton for punishment. The director is currently gearing up for the release of his upcoming Sex Pistols series, which has drawn criticism from John Lydon. Far from crumbling under the former Pistols frontman’s complaints, Boyle has embraced every bad thing Lydon has said about the series, clarifying: “I don’t want him to like [Pistol] — I want him to attack it.”

Lydon did all he could to stop Boyle from using the Sex Pistols’ music in his six-part series, Pistol, which chronicles the band’s rise to fame and their eventual downfall. The band’s former guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook countered Lydon, allowing the band’s catalogue to be featured in the show.

Lydon later claimed that the series, which is based on Steve Jones’ memoir Lonely Boy: Tales From a Sex Pistol, would “water down” the legacy of Sex Pistols. He also complained that his take on the career of the Pistols had been largely ignored during the creation of the show.

Boyle, however, seems convinced of Lydon’s importance as the frontman of the Pistols. Speaking to The Guardian, he even went so far as to label him “a genius”. Detailing further, he said: “I mean, obviously, you can’t make a series about him because he’s unmanageable,” he added. “Everyone knows that. So to get this book from Steve is like a side door in. It allows you to look at the whole group. But you have to acknowledge there’s a genius in there and it’s Rotten. He’s the person that changed everything, a key cultural figure in our landscape.”

Boyle went on to reveal that he was hoping to rile the “unmanageable” singer: “I love Lydon for what he does and I don’t want him to like it — I want him to attack it,” he explained. “I think that’s his absolute right. Why would you change the habit of a lifetime?”

Pistol officially premiers on Hulu on May 31st. Anson Boon will play Rotten, while Toby Wallace has taken on the role of Jones. Jacob Slater will play Cook, Louis Partridge will portray Sid, and Christian Lees will take on the role of Glen Matlock.