Alex Winter, perhaps best known as Bill, from the band the Wyld Stallyns in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure has just announced he'll be hopping behind the camera to direct a feature-length film about the peer-to-peer file-sharing service that helped start the digital music revolution, Napster.
While Napster has been analyzed, broken down and discussed ad-nauseam, its impact on the music industry is still ripe for conversation. Winter plans to bring the story to life via a documentary with funding help from VH1. So, no, for everyone thinking it right now, this won't be another Social Network, and Justin Timberlake won't be reprising his roll as Napster co-founder Sean Parker.
In an interview with Deadline, Winter describes his motives:
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.
Amazingly, nobody has made a feature-length documentary about Napster yet, and considering the fact the story is largely untold in video, we'd guess this has a reasonable chance of success. Most importantly though, it will help introduce the foundation of the digital industry to people who might not be aware of the impact the service had.
Winter assures the documentary will be even-handed, although he'll be interviewing both founders, Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning to let them talk about their feelings about the service and their intentions with it. To balance their opinions, label executives and bands will also be sounding off on their opinions and we can only hope the Wyld Stallyns still have the staying power to score an interview with Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, who flipped out on several occasions over Napster.
Perhaps most importantly, though, Winter has confirmed a Bill and Ted's 3 is in the early stages of development. We'd like to imagine the film will be a Wes Anderson-esque examination of two men unwilling to grow up, stuck in a world where they think their band will truly make it, and possibly travelling through time to make it happen. But it will probably just be a sad excuse of a film with plenty of boob jokes.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.