What’s Going On: J.J. Abrams Developing Scripted Netflix Series for U2

In a stunning announcement on Friday, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot Productions is developing a scripted show about U2 for Netflix. The currently-untitled show will be written by Anthony McCarten, best known for writing the juggernaut Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. 

Formed in 1976, Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr rose out of Dublin, Ireland and took over the world during the 1980s. They’ve gone on to sell more than 170 million records worldwide, have become one of the top-grossing touring acts of all time, and changed the world with their thought-provoking lyrics and groundbreaking music videos. Details on how much Bono and the gang will be involved or what years the show will cover have yet to be released. In this week’s special edition of What’s Going On, I’m going to get into four things that I’d like to see in the forthcoming U2 series.

Live Aid

The music world was changed forever on July 13, 1985 when Bob Geldof’s Live Aid charity benefit concert took place. Designed to raise funds and awareness for famine relief, concerts were held in London’s Wembley Stadium and Philadelphia’s John F. Kennedy Stadium featuring most of the top acts of the current music landscape. David Bowie, Madonna, Queen, Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, and Duran Duran are just a handful of the artists that made Live Aid the premier concert event of the 80s. One of the bands that performed at Wembley was U2. In particular, their rousing nearly 12-minute performance of “Bad” has been cited as a star-making moment for the band and cemented their place as the most important band of the 80s.

The Making of the “Where the Streets Have No Name” Music Video

U2’s music videos have always been events but perhaps none more than “Where the Streets Have No Name.” Directed by Meiert Avis, the video sees U2 stopping Los Angeles traffic by performing on the rooftop of a liquor store. Famously, the police on hand try to shut the performance down which results in the large crowd of onlookers booing the cops. It has since been confirmed by the band’s longtime former manager Paul McGuinness that much of the commotion with the police was staged and exaggerated for dramatic effect. Still, it would be fun to see a dramatized depiction of how the Grammy-award winning music video was created. 

“Mothers of the Disappeared” in Chile

Never a band to shy away from tackling social ills in their music, U2’s song “Mothers of the Disappeared” from their fifth studio album The Joshua Tree is a moving tribute to the terrible plight happening in Argentina, Chile, and El Salvador that saw children being forcibly disappeared by cruel dictators. Bono learned about the harrowing situation while spending time in El Salvador and Nicaragua after the band took part in Amnesty International’s Conspiracy of Hope concert tour. During U2’s 1998 PopMart Tour, the Madres joined the band onstage in Santiago for the performance of the powerful song. Bono gave an impassioned plea to former dictator Augusto Pinochet to reveal the location of the children’s bodies to the Madres.

Elijah Hewson Playing the Role of His Dad, Bono

In a perfect case of the apple not falling far from the tree, Bono’s son Elijah Hewson is quickly making a name for himself with the success of his band Inhaler. The band’s debut album It Won’t Always Be Like This hit the top spot on the Irish, Scottish, and UK charts in 2021. Inhaler’s energetic and triumphant sound has won praise from critics and a continually growing rabid fan base around the world. Elijah Hewson has got the talent and the charisma so it would be a special treat to see the talented pop progeny play his father as his own star continues to rise.

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