Danny Boyle Is Unfazed by Johnny Rotten’s “Pistol” Criticism

He seems a little excited about it, to be honest

Danny Boyle
Director Danny Boyle on the red carpet at a photo call for the Scottish film premiere of Yesterday, at Vue Cinema, Omni Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Iain McGuinness/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

What’s it like to have your early years as a musician turned into a television miniseries for the world to see? For some, it’s a dream come true; for others, it’s a source of endless frustration. This month brings with it the debut of Pistol, an FX series about the Sex Pistols based on the memoir of bassist Steve Jones. Another member of the Sex Pistols, singer John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten), has been decidedly candid about his feelings about the project — which is to say, he’s appalled by its existence.

For at least one part of the show’s creative team, Lydon’s criticism serves as a badge of honor. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Pistol director Danny Boyle seemed excited by the prospect of earning Lydon’s ire.

Boyle referred to Lydon as “the genius” and “the person that changed everything, a key cultural figure in our landscape.” And he made the case that being targeted by Lydon was a badge of honor unto itself.

“I love Lydon for what he does and I don’t want him to like it — I want him to attack it,” Boyle told The Guardian. “I think that’s his absolute right. Why would you change the habit of a lifetime?”

Admittedly, Lydon’s contrarianism has led him into some unexpected and controversial positions as of late. As for how well the series translates the Sex Pistols’ story to the screen, we’ll know that soon enough.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.