Harry Potter alums Alan Rickman and Rupert Grint are taking center stage in CBGB, a movie about the Lower East Side club and its owner Hilly Kristal. The film, directed by Randall Miller and written by Miller and Jody Savin, will tell the tale of how Kristal started the venue that would become the birthplace of bands like The Ramones, Blondie and the Dead Boys.
Rickman has signed on to play the abrasive Kristal, who originally started the club as a place for CBGB – Country, Bluegrass and Blues music. But when that didn’t skyrocket him to legendary club owner status, he opened his doors to unknown bands, becoming the home of the American punk rock movement. The bands had only a few simple rules to follow – no top 40 hits and absolutely no covers.
Leaving Ron Weasley behind, Grint will play the ginger front man of The Dead Boys, Cheetah Chrome. Joel David Moore, the gawky actor of such movies as Grandma’s Boy and Avatar will play the equally gawky Joey Ramone, while Puerto Rican-born Julian Acosta will unfittingly play Joey’s band mate Johnny. Malin Akerman, the blonde beauty from movies like 27 Dresses and Watchmen will portray Blondie’s front woman Debbie Harry.
The only other roles assigned so far include Estelle Harris, or Estelle Costanza from Seinfeld, playing Kristal’s mother, and Castle star Stana Katic playing Genya Ravan, music producer and former lead singer of the rock band Goldie & the Gingerbreads. Production will begin on June 25th in Savannah, Georgia, a far cry from the venue’s original home in New York City.