Alex Winter is directing a movie about the formation of controversial music file-sharing service Napster. Deadline reports that the Bill and Ted actor-turned director is has been tyring to make a narrative feature film for 10 years, and is finally moving forward on thei project with the help of VH1. The film is plannned as a documentary and is being made by the same people who brought us 2008’s Anvil: The Story of Anvil.
Winter originally inked a deal with Paramount’s MTV Films and wrote a script, but then The Social Network was released that took the wind out of the project. Instead of giving up, Winter has now going back to all the sources for his script, armed with a camera.
Here is what Winter had to say:
“The rise and fall of Napster and the birth of peer-to-peer file-sharing technology created by Shawn Fanning when he was a college student, changed music to movies, and made possible everything from Julian Assange, WikiLeaks to the iPod and Facebook,” Winter told me. “It became an expression of youth revolt, and contributed to a complete shift in how information, media and governments work. And it is a fascinating human story, where this 18-year-old kid invents a peer-to-peer file-sharing system, and brings it to the world six months later.”
Winter went on to say that the documentary format allows voices on both sides do some venting, but says that Fanning’s intention was a pay system similar to what Apple’s iTunes became. “Nobody wanted to deal with this college kid and the music industry took a hard stance and focused on shutting him down,” Winter said. “It’s a gray area. I can understand Fanning’s side, but I can also empathize with the horror that Metallica’s Lars Ulrich felt when a single that wasn’t even finished ended up on the radio.”Napster’s Fanning and Parker are involved, as well as a group of label heads and musical artists. Maggie Malina is producing the project.
Winter also revealed that he and Keanu Reeves have a Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure sequel script by original scribes Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon, and stated “it’s early days on that project.” I would love to see a new Bill and Teds and this sounds like a cool project. What are your thoughts?