John Lydon has receded from the spotlight in recent years to focus on caring for wife Nora Forster, who has Alzeimer’s.
However, the erstwhile Johnny Rotten is piping up about “Pistol”, an upcoming FX series based on the rise of his seminal British punk band The Sex Pistols.
Directed by Danny Boyle (“Trainspotting”) and based on Pistols guitarist Steve Jones’ memoir, Lonely Boy, “Pistol” has raised the ire of the infamously temperamental punk pioneer.
According to Lydon, the entire project is being done without his consent or input, and he says he’s considering his legal options.
“Sorry, you think you can do this, like walk all over me — it isn’t going to happen. Not without a huge, enormous f**king fight,” he tells The Sunday Times.
“I’m Johnny, you know, and when you interfere with my business you’re going to get the bitter end of my business as a result,” he continues.
“It’s a disgrace. I fronted this band. I’m the man that wrote the words. I supplied the image and direction, and I think the questions hang on their actions here. If they needed to be this secret squirrel about it then they must have something to hide,” he adds.
According to The Times, a spokesperson for the “Pistol” production says that Boyle had, in fact, reached out to Lydon, sending word that he “wished to speak with Mr Lydon personally about the production of ‘Pistol’. Ultimately, however, direct contact was declined.”
Lydon, however, is taking aim at FX’s parent company, Disney. “If you put me in a corner like a rat, I’m going to go for your throat. I’m up against here some corporations that just want to take over,” he states. “Poor old Johnny Rotten is the victim of Mickey Mouse.”
Lydon has been particularly angered by recent photos of the “Pistol” cast in costume as the band.
“I think that’s the most disrespectful s**t I’ve ever had to endure. I mean they went to the point to hire an actor to play me but what’s that actor working on? Certainly not my character. It can’t go anywhere else [but court],” he states. “And I’ve met [Boyle] before. It’s not like we’re complete strangers.”
In fact, Lydon actually worked with Boyle when he was designing the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics in London.
“He wanted to put together a collage of Pistols tunes and I went down to a little studio somewhere in the East End and approved of what he was doing. You know, he was quite good,” Lydon recalls. “It was quite hilarious actually to show snippets of ‘God Save the Queen’ and ‘Pretty Vacant’ to all of the royal family.”