The trailer details the origins of the band, as the working-class members seek to make their indelible mark in the world. “We’re invisible. We’re pissed off. No one gives a shit about us. So, we don’t give a shit about no one else. Maybe that should be our image,” one of them says in a voiceover opening the clip.
The visual shows them ushering in “danger and desire” and kicking “this country awake if it kills us” through their punk rock music and performances. They transform from the Swankers (“Wankers?” someone humorously questions of their early group name) and acknowledge that live they can be “awful,” but also that they’re “creating a revolution.” After all, as is said in the trailer, “We’re not into music. We’re into chaos.”
Pistol covers the band’s chaotic, revolutionary, and wildly brief three-year rise and fall. It’s centered largely around Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones and is based on his 2017 memoir, Lonely Boy: Tales From a Sex Pistol.
The series stars Toby Wallace as Jones, Anson Boon as Johnny Rotten, Louis Partridge as Sid Vicious, Jacob Slater as Paul Cook, and Christian Lees as Glen Matlock. Thomas Brodie-Sangster stars as the band’s infamous manager Malcolm McLaren, Talulah Riley will play punk designer Vivienne Westwood, Game of Thrones vet Maisie Williams will play punk icon/Sex Pistols associate Pamela Rooke, who was better known as the mononymous, Jordan.
While Pistol was first announced last March, it soon faced pushback from Johnny Rotten (real name John Lydon), who called the project “the most disrespectful shit I’ve ever had to endure” and threatened to take legal action because he considered the series unauthorized. Lydon even tried to prevent FX from using the band’s music in the series, but Jones and Cook filed a lawsuit and ultimately prevailed.