actor Joe Manganiello making Smiths movie “Shoplifters of the World”; Morrissey biopic also in the works
There are a couple movies related to The Smiths currently in production. As reported by Pitchfork, Shoplifters of the World is loosely based on an infamous 1988 incident, where an armed Smiths fan plotted to take control of a Denver radio station, forcing the DJs to play The Smiths at gunpoint. (What exactly happened is up for discussion.) If this plot sounds familiar, it was also the basis for Brendan Fraser/Steve Buscemi/Adam Sandler comedy Airheads (while not about The Smiths, did feature Anthrax covering their song "London").
The film is being written and directed by Stephen Kijak but is being produced by actor Joe Manganiello who you may know from True Blood or his role as himself in Pee-wee's Big Holiday. (The latter's director, John Lee, says Manganiello is a true Smiths fan.) This has been in the works for a while, as he spoke to Collider about it in 2014:
It's written by this writer/director named Stephen Kijak. He had a previous relationship with Morrissey, and Morrissey agreed to give us the catalogue for a nice, affordable fee. Well, it's not cheap, by any stretch of the imagination, but we have Morrissey's blessing to move forward with a the Smiths project. I'm a huge the Smiths fan. It’s just really great to be afforded the opportunity to go out and tell stories that I’m really excited and passionate about, like that one.
Manganiello will reportedly play the main DJ in the film (hopefully no one hangs him) which is set in 1987, the year The Smiths broke up.
The other film is an unauthorized Morrissey biopic titled Steven which stars Jack Lowden (who starred in the BBC's War & Peace) be directed by first-time feature helmer Mark Gill. Filming now, it will focus on Morrissey's pre-Smiths years in working class Manchester.
*A previous version of this post said that Morrissey had given his blessing to Shoplifters of the World; there is a tentative agreement on music, not an approval from Morrissey's camp at this time.