Saturday Night Live and The King of Staten Island star Pete Davidson has been cast as punk icon Joey Ramone for an upcoming biopic helmed by Netflix and STXfilms. The news was announced April 15: the 20th anniversary of Ramone's death.
The project, called I Slept With Joey Ramone, is based on the memoir of the same name written by Mickey Leigh, Joey's brother. The film was originally announced in 2017, with Nick Cassavetes set to direct. Now, I Slept With Joey Ramone will be directed by Jason Orley. He worked with Pete Davidson on Big Time Adolescence and Pete Davidson: Alive from New York.
Orley and Davidson adapted Mickey Leigh's memoir into a treatment and pitched it to Netflix and STXfilms. Pete Davidson is also set to executive produce the project alongside Mickey Leigh, Rory Rosegarten, and David Spiegelman. The biopic will be made with the support of the estate of Joey Ramone. Rosegarten Films will assist.
On the film, STXfilms chairman Adam Fogelson said in a statement:
“When you share a bed with someone—and not just a bed, but a childhood, a family, and a lifetime—you know that person better than anybody else. Mickey Leigh not only collaborated with his big brother’s band—he has irreplaceable memories of and insights into Joey Ramone, having supported him when no one else would and witnessed him overcome adversity in the most dramatic way. I Slept With Joey Ramone is a great rock anthem that will make an equally great rock biopic, set apart by a universal story of family. Pete is perfect for this role and we’re excited he and Jason will be bringing this icon of rock to life and thrilled to be collaborating once again with our friends at Netflix."
Joey Ramone served as frontman for punk band The Ramones from 1974-1996. Though he originally played drums, he switched to vocals early on and was known for his indomitable stage presence. The Ramones never achieved the kind of commercial success Joey craved, but their legacy lives on in iconic songs like "I Wanna Be Sedated," "Blitzkreig Bop," "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker," "Rockaway Beach," and "Rock n' Roll High School."
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Article Image: Pete Davidson at the HBO Primetime Emmy Awards Afterparty in 2015, Joey Ramone performing in the 1980s. (Jean_Nelson via DepositPhotos, Yves Lorson [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons.)