In 1988, the staff members of a Denver radio station were not held hostage and were not, at gunpoint, asked to play the very sad band’s songs over and over again. Despite having allegedly inspired the 1994 film Airheads — in which a band (Adam Sandler, Steve Buscemi, Brendan Fraser) hijacks a radio station in order to get their demo played — the actual incident was more of a non-incident; a frighteningly devoted Smiths fan was arrested before he ever went through with his plans. It seems that now, Joe Manganiello of True Blood and Pee-wee’s fantasies, is making and starring in a fictionalized movie about the non-event as a radio DJ who meets the unfortunate fate of having to listen to beautifully mopey music for hours at gunpoint.
According to Pitchfork — whose own report comes from Showbiz411’s report — the actor is producing and starring in the film that’ll be written and directed by music documentarian Stephen Kijak. Showbiz411’s news post got a response from Joe Manganiello on Twitter — so while it’d normally be advised to take news like this with a grain of salt… you may be able to jump the gun and get excited, or confused, or whatever you want to get. Manganiello neither confirmed nor denied the news, but rather said:
Plus, as Pitchfork notes, Manganiello said in 2014 in an interview with Collider that he’d gotten the rights to the Smith’s catalogue for the film, which he openly said he was producing the film, titled Shoplifters of the World (at the time, however, there was no news of whether he’d be starring in it). He’d described that Kijak “had a previous relationship with Morrissey, and Morrissey agreed to give [them] the catalogue for a nice, affordable fee.” He’d continued:
Well, it’s not cheap, by any stretch of the imagination, but we have Morrissey’s blessing to move forward with a The Smiths project. I’m a huge The Smiths fan. It’s just really great to be afforded the opportunity to go out and tell stories that I’m really excited and passionate about, like that one.
The film has actually been on the press’ radar since 2012 — with Zosia Mamet, Jessica Brown Findlay, Shameless’ Jeremy Allen White and Pitch Perfect’s Skylar Astin already announced as joining the cast years ago (no news of whether or not they’re still attached).