- Cast: Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Michael Shannon, Scout Taylor-Compton, Stella Maeve, Hannah Marks, Brett Cullen, Alia Shawkat, Tatum O'Neal, Danielle Riley Keough, Johnny Lewis, Robert Romanus, Lisa Long, Adam Silver, Jill Andre, Daniel D. Lee, Darrian Smith, Shammy Dee
- Director: Floria Sigismondi
- Writer: Floria Sigismondi
- Producers: Art Linson, John Linson, William Pohlad
- Co Producer: David Grace
- Executive Producers: Joan Jett, Kenny Laguna, Brian Young
- Art Direction: Alysia Allen
- Casting: Wendy O'Brien
- Costume Design: Carol Beadle
- D.O.P.: Benoît Debie
- Editor: Richard Chew
- Makeup: Robin Mathews
- Music: George Drakoulias
- Production Design: Eugenio Caballero
- Set Decoration: Fontaine Beauchamp Hebb
- VFX Supervisor: Larry Fioritto
The Runaways (Neon Angels) is based on lead-singer Cherie Currie's book 'Neon Angel' - a reflection of her experiences as a rock star, but also delivering a strong anti-drug warning to teens and others. David Bowie's "Space Oddity" serves as a metaphor for the narrative-- a slow countdown, a surreal but spectacular rise to fame, then alienation and burnout - a long long way from home.
The movie chronicles THE RUNAWAYS from 1975 - 1977; formed by teenage girls living near Hollywood, CA., and heavily manipulated by their manager Kim Fowley as 'jailbait rock' (all the girls were 16 or younger when the band recorded their first album). The band ultimately succeeds on their own merits as musicians, becoming the first all-girl rock-band to ever break into the world of arena-filling hard rock acts.
The movie focuses on the band's formation, and their meteoric rise to fame. Their first single, 'Cherry Bomb', gets some attention in the United States, where THE RUNAWAYS' U.S. tour hits major venues (Cobo Hall, with RUSH) and sleazy rock-clubs, often pairing them up with The Ramones, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, and other popular 1970's rock acts. But 'Cherry Bomb' and several other songs from THE RUNAWAYS' first 2 albums become huge hits in Japan -- and their arrival for a set of shows there in 1977 is like Beatle-Mania. The band is overwhelmed by the Japanese reception. Almost prophetic, THE RUNAWAYS' last big hit song in Japan is 'Neon Angels On The Road To Ruin'.
Cherie is initially thrilled to be in the band, and lives the rock star life. She pushes the edge -- and their records sell well, generating lots of media controversy and hype. But during the tour of Japan, her personal life disnintegrates, and she burns out -- ultimately leaving The Runaways when they return to the U.S. The bass player (Jackie Fox) quits too, leaving only Lita Ford, Joan Jett and Sandy West. Joan Jett has decided that rock & roll is her life, and that The Runaways is her 'family'; she is upset by Cherie's decision to leave, but knows that decision is best -- for Cherie.
THE RUNAWAYS' success was earth-shaking in rock music -- changing the rules forever. But with the successful 5-girl lineup no longer intact after the Japan tour, their future was dubious, at best. Lita Ford (guitar) and Sandy West (drums) still think the band can make it big again, so they persevere with Joan Jett.
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Filming Locations: Los Angeles, USA
- MPAA Warning: Language, drug use and sexual content - all involving teens
- Production Budget: $9 million
- Production Companies: Linson Entertainment, River Road Entertainment, Road Rebel, Runaway Productions
- Production Schedule: 21 June 2009 - 2 August 2009
Kristen Stewart cut her trademark long full hair into Joan Jett's uneven 'shag' hairstyle of the period, stirring a lot of media attention.
Dakota Fanning, Kristen Stewart, Scout Taylor-Compton, Stella Maeve and Alia Shawkat spent a month rehearsing and recording The Runaways' songs before filming..
2010 Guide Analysis: "A curious cultural oddity in that very few of the teenage girls this film will be targeted at will have ever heard of the band or its songs. Certainly most are far more familiar with Joan Jett's 80's work like "I Love Rock N' Roll" (long before Britney did that awful cover version) than her time with The Runaways. Nevertheless the draw of two "New Moon" stars, Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning, as full on 70's punk chicks should be enough to get people to this biopic from acclaimed music video helmer Floria Sigismondi.
A trailer released not that long ago showed a grittier and more period-specific look than expected but also offered up hope of something with weight to it. Certainly the idea of "Revolutionary Road" scene-stealer Michael Shannon as recording producer and impresario Kim Fowley has my interest piqued. The reaction from the upcoming world premiere at Sundance however will be a bellwether, and if it goes well expect a decent sized opening for the genre."