The book’s loud, lewd, crude and crazy content – written by band members Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee and Mick Mars alongside veteran journo Neil Strauss – has been a target of filmmakers for years thanks to the compelling tale of drink, drugs, rock, rebellion, fights and big money deals.
MTV films originally optioned the tome when it arrived back in 2001, and Tremaine has been monitoring its progress since then. “I’ve been careful to make this a natural progression,” Tremaine says. “I’ve been offered a lot of scripts but Dirt is something I pursued with everything I had. I’ve wanted to make this going back to 2001, when we were just planning the first Jackass movie and I found out that David Gale at MTV Films had just optioned the book. First of all, I had no idea how to make Jackass into a movie, but I said to him, let me direct that movie, too. He said, yeah, of course! He was being sarcastic, because he had the same level of confidence in me as a director as I did at that time. Luckily for me, the movie never got made, and when this project became available, I put everything I had into chasing it and convincing everyone that I am the right guy for it. I really feel I am.”
As Tremaine observes, the project has been through several development spasms, with Larry Charles attached to direct for a while and xXx writer Rich Wilkes hired to crank out a script. Yet despite plenty of interest, nothing solid has happened until now. Californication scribe Tom Kapinos is writing the current script draft and the hope is that Tremaine will be cranking the cameras on what will simply be called The Dirt next year once he’s found his Crue crew.
“It’s the spirit we’ve got to get right,” Tremaine says. “It’s important to get actors who play, or who understand how to deliver the charisma it takes to be onstage. Rock stars have a swagger. Some of what they went through is funny, but overall this movie is not going to be a comedy. It’s pretty dark. I think fans of what I’ve done will like this movie, but it’s not going to make you fall out of your chair laughing.”