The Drummer (lost script of cancelled biographical film; 2010-2013)

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Dennis Wilson performing with the Beach Boys.

Status: Lost

The Beach Boys are a rock band first formed in 1961, and founded by brothers Carl, Dennis and Brian Wilson. They have been hailed as one of the most influential rock bands and one of the greatest bands of all time. The band is still active today, but a few of the members have either left or died, including Dennis Wilson, who met his tragic end by drowning in 1983.[1]

In 2010, a biographical film based on the last 6 years of Dennis Wilson's life was announced.


On December 2nd, 2010, it was first reported that a film based on Dennis Wilson would be created, directed by Randall Miller and Jody Savin[2] (who both attempted to direct another cancelled film based on another band, Midnight Rider, before it ended up getting cancelled due to a deadly train accident that killed a camerawoman). Dennis' son, Carl, and daughter, Jennifer, were announced to be co-producers of the film in October of 2011.[3]

In December 2011, Aaron Eckhart was announced to be playing Dennis Wilson in the film. He'd be learning Wilson's songs and singing them himself. But, before he would play the role, he would complete his acting work.[4] Soon after, then-recent Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga was announced to be playing Fleetwood Mac's lead singer, Christine McVie, and shooting was scheduled to begin on June 15th, 2012, after Eckhart would finish playing his part in I, Frankenstein.[5]


However, on December 13th, 2013, it was announced that Aaron Eckhart had pulled out of the film, the reason being that he was too tired to film the picture after becoming exhausted acting in I, Frankenstein. This happened, even though Eckhart spent over 6 months learning how to play the piano, sing and learn Wilson's songs.[6]

The crew stated that they would not continue without Eckhart and, to make matters worse, Dennis Wilson's estate announced that they were pulling out of the film, effectively cancelling it. Wilson's children also felt unsure about the script, written by Jody Savin. Gregg Jakobson commented on the matter:

"The kids, they get bad counseling. It’s the estate -- they don’t know anything about the entertainment business. They hardly even really ever knew their dad.[7]


The script to The Drummer has not surfaced since the film's cancellation, and due to the film's current status, is not likely to be shared online anytime soon.

However, interest in making the film has not totally gone away. Brad Rosenberger stated that Wilson's children are still interested in making the film. He said:

"With everything in the right place, they would love to see a movie honoring their father. There are no plans to make this Dennis Wilson movie now, but I don’t think it would be accurate to say we don’t want a movie to be made."[7]


GabLab's video on the subject.