Quadrophenia gets a sequel – To Be Someone – Or does it?

Back in 1979, a film called Quadrophenia brilliantly told the story of the United Kingdom’s Mod scene – and now, some forty-two years on, the film will receive a sequel – of sorts.

Based, of course, on The Who’s smash hit song of the same name, Quadrophenia was a brilliant film about youth angst and rebellion. About finding a place in a world when you didn’t fit in. About being different, just talking about my g-g-g-generation. A definitive cult classic film.

But hold on just a minute – although this new film, To Be Someone, is based on the book that was the sequel to Quadrophenia – features many of the characters and cast of the original film, its director is claiming that it isn’t, in fact, a sequel. Director Ray Burdis was quoted as saying “I have never stated that it was a sequel, and if people draw that conclusion from the cast, what can I do?  The fact that some of the cast are in my film is purely coincidental; they are old friends who I have known for years, who like the script and have an interest in the Mod culture.”

Furthermore, actor Phil Daniels, who played the lead role as Jimmy in Quadrophenia, has stated that he will not be appearing in the film. “He did ask me to be involved with it”, said Daniels, “but because of certain things and this, that and the other, I can’t. I’m not doing it.” Nothing has been mentioned on the possibility of Sting returning to play Ace, either. Although that does seem like a long shot.

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The original film was all about drug abuse, scooters, friendships and counter-culture. British youth in the 1960s, and ultimately about a road trip down to the coastal town of Brighton where a massive punch-up with the rival Rockers was all but a certainty. As the two sets of teens run amok along the benches and through the town, the police get involved and things escalate into a full-blown riot. And best of all, its all based on actual events. The film follows Daniels, as Jimmy, as he spirals out of control on a drug-infused bender that quickly becomes a wonderful coming of age tail about finding your way and discovering who you really are.

In To Be Someone, we will seemingly once more journey through the seedy world of pill popping and scooters. Drug deals, road trips, friendships and that sort of thing. Gangsterism and the underworld. Under cover of a Mod scooter rally to the Isle Of Wright, the gang unwillingly must smuggle a copious amount of drugs – or face the consequences.

Although, the soundtrack more than likely won’t feature the music of The Who – the film’s title, To Be Someone, is a reference to the song, To Be Someone, by The Jam, from their classic album, All Mod Cons, released in 1978. Perhaps then, we might be hearing some classics by The Jam when the film opens.

The co-owner of a popular Mods nightclub and with a successful scooter shop business on the side, life couldn’t be better for entrepreneur and British Mod, Danny. That is until he’s introduced to the club’s secret financier, Mad Mike, an unhinged underworld mobster who is determined to coerce Danny into pulling off an illegal drugs run to The Isle of Wight in return for his shares in the club. Seeing their friend at an all-time low, Danny’s friends step in with an ingenious plan – they will all go to The Isle of Wight’s annual Mod festival and use the thousands of Mod enthusiasts descending onto the island as a cover!

Although fans of The Who and Quadrophenia may be elated for a new film – sequel or otherwise – one person that isn’t too pleased about it, is The Who front-man, Roger Daltrey. “It’s irrelevant, it’s fucking irrelevant”, said Daltrey. “It’s got no meaning at all. Quadrophenia was a moment in time.”

The new film, To Be Someone, will be released on July 9, 2021 and will feature the likes of  Gary Shail, Toyah Wilcox, and Leslie Ash. Not a sequel – but surely loosely based on a brilliant film, from an incredible period of British history. If To Be Someone ends up being half as good as Quadrophenia – we are in for a treat!

Feast your pork pies on this tasty little trailer below!