Casting has been announced for the upcoming Joy Division film, Control. Newcomer Sam Riley will play the brilliant-but-doomed singer Ian Curtis, who committed suicide in 1980 on the eve of the band’s first American tour. Samantha Morton will play Curtis’ widow, Deborah. (It is her book, Touching From A Distance, on which the screenplay is based.) German actress Alexandra Maria Lara, who just finished filming the new Francis Ford Coppola film Youth By Youth, will play the singer’s lover Annik Honore. The film will be the first feature from acclaimed photographer and music video director Anton Corbijn (Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box”). Deborah Curtis and Tony Wilson, Factory Records founder and the subject of 24 Hour Party People, will both be credited as co-producers. According to NME, New Order will rerecord some Joy Division tracks, as well as lay down some new songs, for the soundtrack. The production team hopes to begin shooting in Manchester later this year.
I thought Sean Harris was great as the doomed Division head in 24 Hour Party People, but obviously his role didn’t necessitate loads of screen time. With Corbijn at the helm … could be cool.
Back in May, Mojo did a cover story in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of Curtis’ suicide on the eve of his band’s first U.S. tour. They interviewed Ian’s 27-year-old daughter for it.
MOJO: When did you become aware that your father was an icon?
NATALIE CURTIS: When I was a teenager. I’d heard “Love Will Tear Us Apart” on the radio as a young child. I was aware of it; I thought it was a cult thing, and they weren’t that well known.
MOJO: Did people ever approach you asking “Are you Ian Curtis’s daughter?”
NATALIE CURTIS: It started when I was about 16. How did I react? I got used to it, really. I didn’t happen that much. In Manchester, everyone’s in bands and no one gives a shit…
MOJO: What do you think of people your own age who are into them? What’s the attraction?
NATALIE CURTIS: A lot more people are into them now than a few years ago. I think it’s brilliant music. I suppose if it wasn’t my dad I’d have been listening to it loads and they would be one of my favourite bands — well, they are one of my favourite bands.