Nirvana held on to its legacy for about a decade, but little by little their power and mystery is being stripped away. When I first started hearing their music in movies and television, it didn't bother me nearly as much as I expected it to. "All Apologies" was used brilliantly in a late episode of Six Feet Under. "Something in the Way" was put to good use for an effective scene in Jarhead. But then, it all started to fall apart. "Breed" used in Shoot 'Em Up and a baseball video game? Eight Nirvana songs used, badly, on Cold Case? Just how much heroin money does Courtney Love need? Lately, several films have dealt with the life of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. Gus van Sant gave us the staggeringly boring Last Days. I'm eager to see the new documentary Kurt Cobain: About a Son. And Variety has just announced a big-screen adaptation of what many consider the definitive Cobain biography -- Charles Cross' excellent Heavier Than Heaven.
Apparently, "the producers and studio would not address whether they had locked down music rights, or the nature of the story they are trying to tell." Cobain's widow Courtney Love is listed as an executive producer, so I'd imagine they'll have pretty unlimited access to Nirvana's vaults. No director has been announced, but David Benioff will write the script. That makes me a little more comfortable with the idea, because I think he's a fantastic writer. Benioff adapted his novel The 25th Hour for Spike Lee, and that's one of my favorite films of the decade. Still, the whole thing fills me with unease. So much of this could go very wrong and further tarnish the Nirvana legacy. I wonder what they're going to do about Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl? Won't it be a little odd to see those two portrayed by actors? And since their relationship with producer Love is so strained, what if she paints them in a negative light? Ewan McGregor was rumored to play Cobain at the beginning of the year (I could see that), and something tells me Jared Leto is calling his agent as we speak. Ugh. Who would you cast?