The Who criticise 'ridiculous' Quadrophenia sequel

By Mark Savage
BBC Music reporter

image copyrightRex Features
image captionActress Leslie Ash (pictured above) is not thought to be involved in the 'sequel'

Rock band The Who have attacked plans to make a sequel to Quadrophenia, the cult film based on their rock opera.

Set around the clashes between rival gangs in 1960s Brighton, the original starred Sting, Ray Winstone, Phil Daniels and Toyah Willcox.

Reports of a sequel surfaced in The Mirror last month, with Willcox among those rumoured to reprise their roles.

But Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey have denied involvement, calling the project "a blatant attempt to cash in".

In a strongly-worded statement, they said: "For the avoidance of doubt, this project isn't endorsed by The Who, Who Films, Universal or any of the other rights owners of the original."

Bill Curbishley, the band's manager who produced the original film, added: "Quadrophenia is a significant and influential film based on The Who's music, not some Carry On franchise.

"Any follow-up could only be made by the authors of the original and would need to be worthy of the name. This karaoke sequel announced recently would be totally ridiculous."

media captionThe Who are back on stage in the UK this month, touring with a full-length performance of their classic Seventies album, Quadrophenia.

Curbishley added the new film would star neither Sting nor Winstone. Furthermore, the production will not be permitted to use any lyrics or music from The Who.

The Mirror's report, which ran on 27 May, said the follow-up would be set in the present day and based around events in the book To Be Someone, by Peter Meadows, which was inspired by the original movie.

His book picks up where the narrative of The Who's album (rather than the film) ends, following the hero, Jimmy, through the punk era as he becomes a drug dealing gangster.

Director Ray Burdis - who previously produced The Krays, starring Gary and Martin Kemp - claimed Townshend had given Meadows' book the seal of approval, suggesting this counted as an endorsement for his film.

Meanwhile, Willcox said she would reprise her role as the sexually promiscuous party girl Monkey.

"The natural journey for my character, nearly 40 years on, has seen her become a sexual predator, working in the sex industry as a madam. She's married to one of the other main characters and they're swingers."

Curbishley responded that he, "found it hard to understand why any of the original cast would lend themselves to this crass attempt to cash in on the excellence of the original when this quite clearly isn't a sequel".

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe soundtrack to Quadrophenia features Who classics such as The Real Me and Love, Reign o'er Me

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