Those familiar with the inner workings of masked metal phenomenon Slipknot know that M. Shawn “Clown” Crahan‘s involvement in the band extends far deeper than menacingly hitting kegs onstage with a bat. Alongside vocalist Corey Taylor, Crahan has long-served as a co-head of the band. He has also helped establish their visual identity in being their de facto creative director, helming over 20 of their group’s music videos, while also guiding their visual output.
Crahan has also dipped his toes into directing videos for other bands and even helmed the 2016 picture ‘Officer Downe‘. As of now, it would seem that one day he will likely also have his hands in a retelling of his band’s history in a biopic styled film or series.
Speaking recently with NME, Crahan was asked about if he’d ever consider overseeing a Slipknot film ala ‘Bohemian Rhapsody‘ or ‘Rocketman‘, Crahan replied:
“It wasn’t that long ago that I was very frustrated with this sort of idea, because the business, if you will, was pressuring us for something like that.
The problem is that I watched ‘Bohemian Rhapsody‘, and it’s strictly one-sided. And the people that wrote it and stuff, they’ll tell you, ‘Oh, it’s supposed to be one sided.’ It’s just about the star, you know, it’s Freddie Mercury’s story – but I’m a Brian May fan as well, and I want to know more about him. But you can’t do that in two hours, and the suits in the corporate world, who maintain the [film industry], they don’t want to do more than two hours. That’s too much of a risk for their business, and unfortunately, they control how art is handled and gets to the majority of the human race.”
Crahan asserted that a project telling his own band’s tale is “most definitely going to happen.” However, Crahan doesn’t foresee it happening under a major film studio:
“It wasn’t that long ago that people wanted to make action figures of us, and they didn’t even get to [the prototype stage] because they wanted to mock us up as grandiose and fantastical and superhero-ish. My philosophy was always like, ‘Don’t you think that the real Slipknot is scarier than anything [pretend] you can make me into? The fact that I’m human, and that we bring that sort of fear out of people?’
I could never get anybody to create us, so I’m kind of holding that to the film. I’ve had so many ideas brought to me, and there’s so many people who are frustrated with me about it. They’ve actually told me, ‘Maybe it’d be better if you’re not involved.’ And I’m just like, ‘Yeah, we’ll see how that works for you.’ Because if I’m not involved, that means I’m not involved. That means, ‘Good luck with whatever the fuck you’re trying to do, because I’m not going to approve a word of it.’
They push, but I’m not interested. Because that’s fucking cheese to its finest, to make something just so I can have all the suits walk out of it going, ‘That was really good!’ It’s like, ‘You never played with us in the band, you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about! You’re just impressed that some putz director hit a mark in some visual way for theatres to sell popcorn. Get the fuck out of here. This is my life.’”
While Crahan expressed hope in Web3 maybe one day helping him fulfill his vision for the project, there is nothing concrete at the moment. As to how he would approach the film/series, he stated to NME:
“I’m not a writer. I can only give you the stories. But if I sat down with some really creative [screenwriters], I would be able to tell them all these ideas and we could come up with something that would make people say, ‘Yes, we’ll give you the money to make that.’”
“I love ‘True Detective‘, and that [first season] was eight episodes long. I’m thinking about eight-to-15 episodes. That way, you can go in the past and see [the late] Paul Gray playing a right-handed guitar when he’s left-handed; I can go back to when I was a little kid, and tell all the stories about the crazy shit Joey [Jordison, Slipknot’s ex-drummer who died in 2021] used to do. I can paint all those pictures that would make you go, ‘Oh, that’s why this fucking dude is who he is!’
I’m not making ‘Bohemian Rhapsody‘, man. There’s a lot of dudes [in Slipknot] that need to be represented equally – not one is greater than the other, and you can’t explain the band without explaining all of them. And then there’s our first manager [Sophia John], who passed away – that story would have to be in there – and then there’s a motley crew of about a dozen other motherfuckers… I mean, it’s a big story, man! It’s insane. So we’re gonna do it, but we’re gonna do it our way.”