John Lydon Tries to Stop Sex Pistols’ Songs Being Used in Danny Boyle’s FX Series

Danny Boyle and John Lydon
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images;Noam Galai/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

Danny Boyle‘s upcoming Sex Pistols-based FX series Pistol has hit a roadblock as the 1970s punk rockers are in dispute over the use of the band’s music in the show.

John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) has refused to grant permission for the band’s hits to be used in the series. In response, former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook have taken the ex-frontman to London’s High Court to resolve the matter. Jones and Cook are in favor of the music being included in the series, which is inspired by the former’s memoir Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol.

In court, Lydon’s attorney claimed that the series is “disrespectful” and that Jones’ book paints his client “in a hostile and unflattering light.” It was also revealed that Lydon had previously denied Netflix’s The Crown from using the group’s hit “God Save the Queen,” much to the frustration of his former bandmates.

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The dispute revolves around a 1988 contract that says licensing requests must be decided by a majority of the band. Jones and Cook argue they have the support of original Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock and the estate of Sid Vicious. Lydon, meanwhile, claims the contract has never been adhered to, and therefore, requests are subject to each member’s individual vetoes.

If Lydon is successful in the legal battle, it could cause many problems for Boyle’s series. Produced by FX Productions, Pistol is intended to be a six-part series, starring Toby Wallace (Babyteeth) as Jones, Jacob Slater as Cook, Anson Boon (Crawl) as Lydon, and Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) as punk icon Jordan.

Pistol follows the band’s rise from public housing in London to wild parties with Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, and the worldwide controversy that followed the release of Never Mind the Bollocks, which is now considered one of the most influential albums of all time.

Pistol, Expected 2022, FX on Hulu