When it comes to Pete Davidson, audiences seem to either love or hate him with little room in between. As a longtime fan of Saturday Night Live, it’s been fascinating to watch him grow comedically. As a stand-up act, he has undeniable chops, but as a performer, Davidson still has some work to do outside of playing anyone other than a slightly different version of himself. Now Netflix will give him a chance to do just that by having him play The Ramones frontman Joey Ramone in a new movie.
Netflix sent out a press release announcing the new movie I Slept with Joey Ramone, which will have Pete Davidson reteaming with Big Time Adolescence director Jason Orley. The movie is based on the memoir of the same name by Mickey Leigh, who not only contributed to The Ramones music, but was also the brother of Joey Ramone. For those who maybe didn’t know about the memoir, here’s the synopsis from Amazon:
When the Ramones recorded their debut album in 1976, it heralded the true birth of punk rock. Unforgettable front man Joey Ramone gave voice to the disaffected youth of the seventies and eighties, and the band influenced the counterculture for decades to come. With honesty, humor, and grace, Joey’s brother, Mickey Leigh, shares a fascinating, intimate look at the turbulent life of one of America’s greatest—and unlikeliest—music icons. While the music lives on for new generations to discover, I Slept with Joey Ramone is the enduring portrait of a man who struggled to find his voice and of the brother who loved him.
STXfilms chairman Adam Fogelson shared even further insight into the project, adding in a statement, “Mickey Leigh not only collaborated with his big brother’s band – he has irreplaceable memories of and insights into Joey Ramone, having supported him when no one else would and witnessed him overcome adversity in the most dramatic way.”
When it comes to the casting of Pete Davidson in the lead role, Fogelson added, “Pete is perfect for this role and we’re excited he and Jason will be bringing this icon of rock to life and thrilled to be collaborating once again with our friends at Netflix.”
This will undoubtedly be a big test for Pete Davidson as an actor. He’ll have to do much more than spout off one-liners and play a fictional version of himself, which he did in both Big Time Adolescence and Judd Apatow’s The King of Staten Island. Perhaps Davidson can follow in the footsteps of Adam Sandler and occasionally tackle roles that prove he has some real dramatic chops.
If you haven’t seen Big Time Adolescence, it’s available on Hulu after debuting at the Sundance Film Festival a couple years ago. It’s a pretty standard coming-of-age indie comedy, but Davidson is solid in it, and it shows plenty of potential for Jason Orley as a filmmaker too. Hopefully they can reteam to make a great biopic worthy of the punk legacy of Joey Ramone. If not, there’s always a chance Vincent Chase can finally make a comeback with I Wanna Be Sedated.
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