Word came down this week that Kiss have signed a deal with Netflix to create a biopic about their formative years. According to reports, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales director Joachim Rønning will helm the film and Ole Sanders will write the screenplay.
“The project is on a fast track,” reads a report in Deadline. “There is every reason to imagine Netflix and Kiss will use the synergy of a big rock biopic to memorialize their final days on stage, more than 50 years after Simmons and Stanley first got together.”
The only thing surprising about the news is that it’s taken this long to come together. Recent Queen and Elton John biopics were enormously successful in introducing their music to new generations of fans, and increasing attendance at their concerts. Mötley Crüe used their 2019 Netflix film The Dirt as a rationalization for breaking their supposed “Cessation of Touring Agreement” (which was never shown to the public) and re-forming for a stadium tour with Poison, Def Leppard, and Joan Jett.
Kiss are in a somewhat different situation since they were in the middle of their second farewell tour when the pandemic hit. They plan on finishing the run once live music returns, but a successful biopic will help help them sell Kiss T-shirts, Kiss condoms, and Kiss coffins for years to come.
The exact timeline of the movie is unclear, but it will probably focus heavily on the period of 1972 to 1975 when the band rose from the New York club scene to arenas all across America by touring like maniacs and perfecting an outrageous stage show. Here’s a clip of the group playing “Firehouse” on The Mike Douglas Show in 1974 that will give you a little taste of what their live show was like in this era.
Things got pretty messy in the years after this when drugs, alcohol, and personal and musical differences began tearing the band apart. The drama continues to this day, though the band says that every member of Kiss, past and present, will be invited to perform at the last show of the farewell tour. If that does indeed happen, it’ll give the movie the perfect final scene.