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Will There Be a Nirvana Musical?

By November 5, 2012

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Ever since Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain took his own life in 1994, there has been talk about telling his story, whether through a movie or some other medium. Thus far, the closest we've come is the 2005 indie film Last Days, which dramatized the short life of a Cobain-like figure. (And, of course, there was the documentary Kurt & Courtney, which pursued the urban legend that Love had Cobain murdered, covering up her crime by making it look like a suicide.) But that hasn't stopped folks from trying to mount more Cobain-themed projects.

Recently, there have been rumors of a Nirvana musical. But Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, is speaking out against such speculation. If she has her way, no musical is ever going to happen.

"There will be no musical," she told The Observer over the weekend. "Sometimes it's best just to leave things alone."

The possibility of a Nirvana musical was first floated, weirdly enough, in a lawsuit between business manager Sam Lutfi and pop star Britney Spears. As Spin reported, Lufti, who has worked with Love in the past, said in court as part of that lawsuit that he and Love "are currently working on a possible motion picture or Broadway musical based on the Nirvana catalogue, based on her life and Kurt Cobain's." But now Love insists that no such musical would get off the ground.

While that may be a relief to Nirvana fans, I am curious about this "possible motion picture." A few years ago, there seemed to be some serious momentum for a Nirvana film, which did have Love's blessing, although that momentum seems to have stalled since. It's hard not to think that, at some point, we are finally going to get a big Nirvana biopic, whether that covers Cobain's life or the history of the band or Cobain's relationship with Love. The band's legacy is so large -- and Cobain's death so tragic -- that its dramatic qualities are simply too strong for filmmakers to resist. Love says we're not getting a Broadway musical, but I feel safe predicting that, eventually, we'll be seeing an actor playing Kurt Cobain in something.

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