Pogues Leader Shane MacGowan Is Getting a Documentary by Julien Temple and Johnny Depp

Pogues Leader Shane MacGowan Is Getting a Documentary by Julien Temple and Johnny Depp
Photo: Masao Nakagami
Shane MacGowan stands as one of music's most iconic figures, so it makes perfect sense we're now getting a documentary about the Pogues leader. But it's not just any made-for-TV docuseries — this one is coming via esteemed director Julien Temple and Johnny Depp.

Depp has teamed up with Temple to produce the film, Deadline reports. Temple, of course, has a long and celebrated career making music docs, with the filmmaker helming such projects as the Sex Pistols doc The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle, as well as the David Bowie film Absolute Beginners, The Filth and the Fury, and Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten.

According to the report, we can expect the following from the as-yet-untitled MacGowan doc:

The film will deep dive on the tortured Irish vocalist, best known as the lead singer and songwriter of Celtic punk band the Pogues and for his renditions of "Fairytale of New York" and "Dirty Old Town." It will combine animation, unseen footage from Temple's own archives and contributions from collaborators and his own family. The film will culminate in MacGowan's 50th birthday celebration where singers, movie stars and rock'n'roll outlaws gathered for a knees-up.

In addition to Temple and Depp being on board, the film will feature Welsh illustrator Ralph Steadman, who has famously collaborated with Hunter S. Thompson over the years.

Temple will produce the project through Nitrate Film together with Depp and Stephen Deuters via the production company Infinitum Nihil and Stephen Malit. Distribution will be handled in the U.K. and Ireland by Altitude Films, and the film will be broadcasted on BBC Four. So far, though, there is no premiere date for the film.

"It's not the easiest thing to make a film about Shane MacGowan," Temple said. "The nearest thing I can think of is one of those David Attenborough films. You set the camera traps. You wait and you wait, in the hope that one day the snow leopard will trigger them. Then when you do actually capture the unique force of Shane's personality, even for a moment onscreen, you realize it was all worthwhile."