Whenever you think of music and danger colliding, it’s impossible not to think about punk music and the iconic bands that defined the genre. The US had the Ramones, Australia had The Saints, and the UK, well, they had the explosive Sex Pistols. Now, the latter’s story is set to be told via Danny Boyle’s Pistol, which premieres on Disney+ from May 31st!
Ever since their formation in August of 1975 to their initial dissolution just two-and-a-half years later, the Sex Pistols were a force to be reckoned with, and arguably, one of the few punk bands worthy of being taught in schools. Whether it was their anarchistic worldview, their attention-grabbing fashions and antics, their blistering and cathartic punk anthems, or their flow-on effect that their very existence had on popular culture as a whole, it’s impossible to deny the impact of the Sex Pistols.
Now, almost 45 years since the release of their sole studio album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, filmmaker Danny Boyle has brought the band’s story to the big screen via their new series on Disney+, Pistol.
Pistol brings guitarist Steve Jones’ autobiography – Lonely Boy: Tales From a Sex Pistol – to life. Starring Aussie actor Toby Wallace as Jones, it follows the group’s rise to fame, beginning with their formation as the brainchild of manager Malcom McLaren, and going on to chronicle their role as leaders of a cultural revolution.
Helmed by director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Yesterday, Slumdog Millionaire), the six-part series captures all the grit of what he calls the “moment that British society and culture changed forever”. Elsewhere, the series also features the likes of Anson Boon as the Pistols’ frontman John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten), Jacob Slater as drummer Paul Cook, and Louis Partridge as infamous bassist Sid Vicious.
Together, cast and crew combine to tell one of the most explosive stories in all of music history. But how can you experience this immersive punk-rock retelling? Thankfully, Disney+ holds the answer to this question, with the six-part series making its premiere on Tuesday, May 31st. If you’re not yet signed up to Disney+, you can catch all the anarchistic glory of Pistol by heading here.
Pistol joins a long list of musical programs on Disney+, including the likes of Olivia Rodrigo’s Driving Home to You, Billie Eilish’s Happier than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles, and The Beatles’ Get Back. Of course, it goes without saying that Boyle’s adaptation of the Sex Pistols story is arguably most ferocious on offer.
Though it’s unclear (and if we’re truly honest, unlikely) if we’ll ever see another reunion from the Sex Pistols, their legacy remains untouchable, with a series like Pistol likely being the closest we’ll ever get to experiencing the raw energy, the youthful anger, and primal intensity of a band such as this.
Johnny Rotten may have ended the Sex Pistols’ final gig in 1978 by asking the crowd, “ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”, but as Pistol captures the raw essence of the group’s rise to fame, it’s on track to serve as one of the most satisfying musical releases in recent history.
Danny Boyle’s six-part series Pistol releases on May 31st via Disney+. Stream Pistol on Disney+ now.