The Anthony Kiedis autobiography “Scar Tissue” was certainly an interesting read, and now Universal Pictures are banking on the book making solid material for a motion picture as well. Per Deadline, the film company has optioned the rights to the Red Hot Chili Peppers singer’s New York Times best seller.
The film is said to be in the early stages of development at the studio, but Brian Grazer is already attached to produce the film project through Imagine Entertainment with Kiedis and talent manager Guy Oseary also involved. Grazer’s films have included such Oscar-nominated films as Splash, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind and Frost/Nixon.
The singer’s “Scar Tissue” memoir was titled after the Red Hot Chili Peppers chart-topping 1999 single of the same name. In the book, the singer details his unconventional upbringing with his father, his rise with the Red Hot Chili Peppers through the ’70s and ’80s L.A. punk scene and his struggles with substance abuse and how each of those experiences played into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band’s music.
In a 2022 interview on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Kiedis revealed that the band’s issues with substance abuse were so “terrifying” that it cost them an early opportunity in their career to work with producer Rick Rubin and the Beastie Boys, because the producer feared “somebody was gonna get murdered” upon meeting them.
“I was basically a junkie, but still showing up to work from time to time, which was the basement of the EMI studios on Sunset Boulevard — they gave us a little basement to rehearse in,” the singer remembered. “They had signed us, but we were going nowhere very slowly, couldn’t get out of our own way. But we were still making a buzz, there was still something exciting about us that caught people’s attention, and it caught Rick Rubin’s attention.”
“So Rick brought the Beastie Boys to our dingy, little rehearsal spot, and he sat there and we rehearsed while they watched. They’re on these little dirty couches watching us, and we went through our songs. Rick stood up and said, ‘We’re gonna go now.'”
Years later, Rubin would work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers after Kiedis had gotten sober. The singer asked the producer why he had passed on them previously, and Kiedis recalled Rubin relaying, “He was like, ‘I thought somebody was gonna get murdered in that rehearsal space. I thought somebody was gonna die. I had to leave.’ That’s how dark we had become! That’s how dark I had become, he was afraid someone was gonna die and it was time to leave. That’s what he said. He’s like, ‘You guys were terrifying, you were scary and it felt like somebody was gonna die. We had to go.'”
Kiedis has often channeled his own struggles into the music, in particular scoring one of their biggest hits with “Under the Bridge,” a song inspired by one of his lowest points in his substance abuse battle.
Over the course of their career, Red Hot Chili Peppers have won six Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, two Billboard Music Awards, 10 MTV Video Music Awards and they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. They’ve released 13 studio albums, with Kiedis a part of the band throughout the entire run.
There has been no word on casting as of yet, nor has a projected release for the film been narrowed down.
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Gallery Credit: Philip Trapp