-Almost Famous meets hereditary-
Based on the best-selling Led Zeppelin Curse- A rock star agrees to compose music for an experimental occult film but incurs the deadly wrath of its volatile director when he doesn't deliver.
*Inspired by actual events involving one of the most famous rock bands in history!
Story behind the screenplay
Lance Gilbert is an American writer who has lived in Wellington, New Zealand for the past decade. After almost twenty years in Human Resources and Recruitment, he began writing full-time.
Lance became well-versed in the history of the iconic rock band, Led Zeppelin, both during and after the publication of his best-selling nonfiction book, The Led Zeppelin Curse.
In addition to the historical aspects of Zeppelin, Lance’s knowledge of the occult closely parallels that of Jimmy Page. This background puts him in a good position to interpret the legendary conflict between Page and the famously tempestuous underground filmmaker, Kenneth Anger.
Lance realized that there would likely not be an authorized Led Zeppelin biopic made while the remaining members are still alive. Because the circumstances surrounding the downfall of the band would make a Zeppelin-approved biopic impossible, Lance decided to adapt his book into an unauthorized screenplay. Although rock music fans will love this, it’s for anyone, regardless of their knowledge of the band.
Lance’s script focuses on the ill-fated collaboration between Page and Anger; both devotees of the notorious occultist, Aleister Crowley. As Zeppelin hedonistically tours the world, Anger grows more impatient with the preoccupied rock star who owes him a piece of music. And what did Anger do? These very details, the ones that would create issues with an authorized biopic, are by far, the most compelling aspects of the band’s history.
Whether or not Kenneth Anger’s presence in Led Zeppelin’s orbit, if you will, led to their downfall is impossible to prove or disprove. However, unlike many biopics that take liberties with facts, this screenplay sticks as closely as possible to the available historic information.
A fascinating and very true piece of rock music history, the script is chronologically accurate and choc-full of detail including many notable events and characters (including The Rolling Stones & David Bowie) from the band's heyday. This particular story is by far the most compelling aspect of Led Zeppelin’s history and will be a major draw…
*This project was under Option for a year and a half. The agreement has now expired, and all rights have reverted to me. During the Option period, a legal path was explored (and confirmed feasible) and the script was vetted by people that know Jimmy Page and Kenneth Anger personally. I’m happy to discuss in detail over a call. I can also address music & life rights.
The story’s relevance has only increased over time. Please let me know if you’d like to see the pitch deck (it’s a super-cool deck) and script, which has just undergone an extensive polish. You’re gonna love it.
Producer comments –
‘Thank you so much for sending this to me and you have really identified such a fascinating, surprising, and shocking story. I had no idea all these incidents happened and it’s such an engrossing piece. I greatly enjoyed your script.’
‘Thanks for sending over the script for Unholy Soundtrack. This is one hell of a wild ride and a lot of fun. Once I pepper some high-value talent in there, I think this could be a nice flip to investors/distributors. It's extremely unique and flavorful, but also in our wheelhouse from a genre perspective.’
Coverage excerpts –
‘Unholy Soundtrack is a wild ride from start to finish, chronicling the uniquely rock ’n roll lifestyle of Led Zeppelin in their prime while infusing the lead guitarist’s fascination with the occult into an incredibly compelling storyline. The premise hooks the reader in, never letting go for a second with one-of-a-kind twists and turns. Combine the legendary status of Led Zeppelin with the thrilling nature of haunts and eerie supernatural activity, and the film could become a blend of drama and suspense.’
We meet LED ZEPPELIN in 1970, at a concert in Finland. Then guitarist JIMMY PAGE has occultic phrases etched into the master copy of Led Zeppelin 3. Soon he purchases BOLESKINE HOUSE, located on the shores of Loch Ness. The property was formerly owned by notorious occultist ALEISTER CROWLEY, who Page is fascinated with.
Page now meets underground filmmaker and fellow Crowley enthusiast KENNETH ANGER at an auction of occult artifacts. The guitarist then commits to composing music for Anger’s experimental occult film, LUCIFER RISING. Page goes on the 1973 US tour and doesn’t have time to do the soundtrack. Anger starts phoning Page asking for results, but the guitarist keeps blowing him off.
After the tour, Page only completes some of the music. Anger gives him more time but cryptically warns Page to be careful, just as they depart on their 1975 US tour. The trip is fraught with problems, including an ominous visit from a member of the MANSON cult family, Lynette ‘SQUEAKY’ Fromme. Then while vacationing with the Page family in Greece, singer ROBERT PLANT has a disastrous car accident.
On the day of the crash, Page is in Sicily on a side-trip to visit Aleister Crowley’s spooky old commune, The ABBEY OF THELEMA. While convalescing, Plant begins to suspect that Page’s occult dabbling is responsible for their bad luck. Page still hasn’t completed Anger’s music and is now addicted to heroin. Page placates Anger by letting him work on Lucifer Rising in the basement of his London home, the historic TOWER HOUSE.
Page’s live-in girlfriend can’t stand Anger and ejects him from the property. Anger retaliates by holding a press conference and publicly CURSES Page. A bloody SEX RITUAL takes place and then we pick up with Zeppelin on their 1977 US tour. It’s an absolute mess with Page’s heroin addiction raging and all sorts of mayhem at the venues. It culminates with the sudden death of Robert Plant’s son. Rumours of a Led Zeppelin Curse spread as the band goes on hiatus.
Zeppelin comes out of hibernation and cuts another album. The tension between Page and Plant is thick. Then there’s a drug overdose death during a party at Page’s country house. Page moves into another home to escape the bad vibes. Also, drummer JOHN BONHAM’S alcoholism worsens as the band prepares for a big comeback tour.
After rehearsals they all stay overnight at Page’s new mansion. Following a massive vodka binge, John Bonham dies, CHOKING on his own vomit. Led Zeppelin is no more. Kenneth Anger has been monitoring the band’s misfortune and gloats over the fact that his curse has (seemingly) worked. Has it? I’d like to know what YOU think.