Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rob Liotti Cast To Star In Political/Mob Drama "Family Values"

Actor Rob Liotti, who was originally cast as the late Australian singer, Bon Scott, has taken on a new role as a mobster-turned-gubernatorial-candidate, Anthony Morelli, in a dramatic cable pilot called, "Family Values".

The actor recently noted the stark contrast between the characters of the late AC/DC singer and his new role, but did mention that the Bon Scott film "is not dead".

Filmmakers with High Voltage Productions, based in Charleston, SC. USA, experienced resistance from AC/DC and the Bon Scott Estate over the proposed biopic, but a very well known producer in Los Angeles is looking at the project as of this date. Many fans simply do not understand the band's resistance given the international audience awaiting its production, and many fans (and professionals) have stated that the film is not only a tribute to Scott, but also directly promotes the band and exposes them to new paying fans. Nonetheless, AC/DC has resisted involvement with the film or sanctioning the biopic.

Thousands of fans were actually pushing for the band [AC/DC] to give Liotti and opportunity to front the band after longtime lead vocalist, Brian Johnson, experienced hearing issues.

"Yes, I was in contact with the band offering told help them finish their tour, but that decision was up to Angus. Was Axl [Rose] a better choice? In my opinion, no, but it isn't my band. I would have actually made sound like AC/DC, but he did a decent job," Liotti stated.

The "Family Values" pilot is a clear departure from the rock biopic, but it would be. Looking at official press photos, it is a vivid transformation as Liotti's character is clearly poised to create wreak havoc in the most cerebral of ways as a New York mafia family heir who enters politics.

On board for the pilot are director J.R. Getches and producer Michael Meltzer who worked with Liotti on the Bon Scott film. The pilot is currently in development and preliminary casting is nearly complete.


Monday, March 14, 2016

AC/DC's New Singer?

With the untimely news of AC/DC lead vocalist, Brian Johnson, leaving the band due to warnings from physicians about impending hearing loss, there is again a void in the machine that is AC/DC. He will need replaced if AC/DC is to continue forward and to at a minimum fulfill its current tour schedule.

Many fans have lobbied for one obvious choice - Rob Liotti, the singer/actor who was slated to star as the late AC/DC singer, Bon Scott, in a biopic about his life and career.

"Hot Blooded Women" by Liotti and Farrar

"Jailbreak" by Young, Young, Scott

As fans know, founding member, Malcolm Young, was tragically diagnosed with dementia and heart issues prior to the recording of "Rock or Bust". Young's nephew and ex-Starfighters rhythm guitarist, Stevie Young was drafted for the second time to replace Malcolm this time rather than fill in. Then, drummer Phil Rudd ran into legal issues that brought back replacement drummer, Chris Slade, for the second time. Only Angus Young and longtime bassist, Cliff Williams remain.

But what about Liotti as a replacement for Johnson?

Many fans have mentioned him as the obvious choice or certainly high on the list, not as a tribute singer brought in to imitate Scott, but for the fact that he has written and performed other music, has his own style, and can competently pull off both Scott and Johnson era tunes. It is also noteworthy that the singer simply does not have the wear and tear on him and his voice that years of touring, racing, and smoking have brought to bear on Johnson.

"Unless fans are living in a bubble, Brian's voice has not been what it was since "For Those About To Rock", especially live", according to one music insider.

While it is true that the actor has performed in an AC/DC tribute in the past, it is also fair to mention that AC/DC's current drummer has also performed such gigs which has had no negative effect upon his performance. In fact, it is an advantage that Liotti is so well-versed and studied in those things AC/DC. One has to understand the dynamic of that band to pull off this replacement while injecting his own energy and style. But, fans expect to see AC/DC all the same. A Steven Tyler, Sammy Hagar, Sebastian Bach, etc. are not going to cut it with AC/DC. It's just not within their skillset.

Honestly, AC/DC could use the new blood and energy. Liotti is considerably younger than Johnson and it is public knowledge that he consumes no alcohol and does not smoke. He clearly hits the highs of Johnson and Scott past which should inject some new found life into the band. That's not a bad thing, and the reality is he is probably going to attract more female fans while maintaining their working-class grit.

Let's face it, AC/DC can still do it, but in fairness to Johnson, the vocalist is almost 70-years-old, and it is inevitable that these issues are going to arise. The truth is that no one thought Bon Scott could be replaced, and he was... Original singer, Dave Evans, was replaced by Scott. Cliff Williams replaced bassist, Mark Evans.

No one wants to see Brian Johnson go, but Rob Liotti can take his place and the band will go on until Angus Young calls it quits.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Bon Scott Movie Now Crowdfunding On GoFundMe

High Voltage Productions recently announced that they have started a crowdfunding campaign at

Producers chose the platform after receiving feedback from fans as to the ease of contributing, no fees, and their site.

Contributions have started to trickle in, however, HVP did admit that "December is not the best month to start..." but stated that they wanted to "get an early start."

Producer Michael Meltzer has tentatively projected the start of some principal photography in the Spring of 2016 and also stated that preliminary casting has begun.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Finally! Bon Scott Producers Start Filming Spring 2016

High Voltage Productions has teamed with GoFundMe to start their crowdfunding campaign platform starting December 2, 2015.

Producers are asking for contributions to the campaign to help with expensive production costs typically associated with filming.

Contributions can be made at the following link:

There are three special levels for contributions according to the producers that can be seen on their campaign site.

"We wanted to offer some special packages to contributors who really stepped up. There is a 'Rock Star' Level for $5000 contributions, a Gold Level for $2500 contributions, and a Silver Level for $1000 contributions," said one of the producers.

High Voltage Productions is teaming with some other undisclosed production companies and professionals to produce the filming scheduled for Spring 2016, and fans will sure look forward to finally seeing something on film about the late, great Bon Scott.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Actor Rob Liotti Discusses His Physical Transformation For The Bon Scott Film


News of the upcoming Bon Scott biopic hit the rock and roll community by storm, but little is known about the level of preparation that took place well before the news hit the airwaves. It is no mystery that physical transformations have been untaken by many actors where they have adjusted their look and body composition for a specific role. Just look at Robert DeNiro, Sylvester Stallone, and Christian Bale who have undertaken major body transformation to both good and bad extents just to provide a stunningly accurate characterization of their subject. The Bon Scott biopic bears the same effort.

Rob Liotti, the actor chosen by High Voltage Productions to portray AC/DC's late singer, Bon Scott, is generally best known as a musician, although he has had acting parts under his belt with small background roles in feature films, television appearances, voiceover, commercials, and stage plays dating back to childhood. As a recording artist who experienced some success back in the late 80's and mid-90's with bands such as High Voltage, Honeygun, and Suite 16, he has probably been best known for his uncanny ability to mimic the late Bon Scott's vocal styling - a feat often ventured but seemingly never fully gained. He has performed in front of thousands of awed fans in an AC/DC tribute band called, T.N.T.
When Director J.R. Getches initially sat down with the actor to discuss his vision for the production, Liotti was a healthy, imposing 6'2, 220lbs. All who have known him would not blink an eye as they have always known him to be a frequent patron of a gym and always active. And it is no secret that Liotti was a standout athlete recruited in football and baseball. But Getches knew that to pull this project together, he had to not only secure 'the voice' of Bon Scott, but more importantly the vision of Bon Scott. In doing so, the director had a conversation with Liotti requesting that he 'lose twenty pounds' for the role. The actor had the motivation and began in earnest.

The actor, who is a longtime member of Gold's Gym in his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, and is certainly no stranger to athletic facilities began a self-guided physical regimen that would ultimately lead to a healthy 50-pound weight loss and a total-body-reset according to the actor.
- How did your team decide what needed done for your character or did you make that decision?

"After I met with J.R., I felt discouraged for a few minutes, and then I decided that I was used to this level of dedication in my past to excel at athletics and that my new goal was paramount to making this project happen. In essence, I felt like I was the person best-suited to play Bon, and the entire production was dependent upon me," Liotti said.

- So, what steps did you take next once you realized what the production company expected?

"I started my program at 220 lbs. and quickly figured out that I was going to need to employ a very diverse regimen of exercise to achieve results. It consisted of a pretty strict diet, adjusting my weight- training to higher repetitions and lower weight, employing crossfit type exercises, and cardio work. Essentially, I ate great, rode my bike at least 100 miles a week, and was at the gym sometimes three times a day. But, this work translated into an average loss of 4 lbs. per month and working through the plateaus that would come at every 10 lbs. of bodyweight loss, which I thought was a healthy progression," he added.

- Did anything else motivate you to hit your goal?

"One of the most annoying things that happened early on when news of the project leaked was fan feedback. Not that I am annoyed by fans, don't get me wrong, but for those of you that have not had that wonderful limelight shone upon you, you get haters!" he laughs. "And, one of the unfortunate aspects of publicity is a fan(s) saying 'he's too fat to play Bon' on some magazine website that you happen upon. Not fun... Notwithstanding, I knew what I had in front of me and, honestly, they were right. Bon and the rest of AC/DC were/are not terribly tall guys. Mark Evans (ex-AC/DC) has often remarked that he felt like a footballer at 5'6 compared to his bandmates. (Mark is an avid footballer and fan btw!)

- Did you have a trainer to guide you through the process?

"Actually, no. I have trained pretty much my whole life starting when I was 6-years-old or so. I think I got my first weight set at 8 or 9. I was always really fortunate to have gotten good instruction and coaching, so I luckily didn't need much direction. But this type of training was somewhat new to me. I actually used to be an AAU Ranked power lifter. I ranked third in the State of Ohio at one time. But this type of training was really different. It included a lot more cardio work and getting myself on the floor planking, plyometrics, climbers, blah, blah. All of it. I did go to my buddy, Rob Baxter, who has been with Gold's for some time and I said, 'look, if I start to look strange, too thin, or unhealthy, please TELL me!' and he agreed.

- Did that ever happen?

"Well, we have to fast-forward, but the crux of it was that I hit it hard for like a year and got on the scale one day and it read 168 lbs. So, I went and asked Rob if it was too much and he said to eat a bit more and put a few pounds back on. So, yeah, I looked a bit gaunt at one point. For me, though, I haven't been at this weight since my freshman year in high school. Since then, I have tried to and have been successful hovering at about 180 lbs. and have consistently done so."

- You are talking a 50 lb. weight loss! Do you feel better?

"Absolutely! You know, before I lost that weight, I felt perfectly fine. I would have never imagined needing to do that. No one ever said that I looked overweight. But, here I am playing with my goddaughter who was like 9-years-old and kids that age love to run! I would say, 'Baby, you are wearing your Uncle Robbie out'. LOL. In hindsight, I was not as energetic and think about it: 50 lbs. of weight off your body and eight less inches on your waist. I mean, how can't you move and feel better? To make it worse, she is now a serious competitive swimmer with a specialty in butterfly. She does open-water swims, meets, you name it. She's an animal. LOL. But, I have always tried to set that example of being fit for her, and she has definitely taken it to another level. Extremely dedicated young girl.

- Was the production company happy with your results?

"Most definitely. I really don't think they had those expectations, but I went as far as I felt necessary without compromising my health. Let's face it, am I taller than Bon? Absolutely, but you can compensate for height many different ways on film. It is very difficult to do anything positive about extra weight. Basically, I wasn't seen in any publicity shots or video for over a year I think. Then, all of a sudden, a Greek magazine called, Burst, did a cover story about me and the project. Needless to say, no one has ever made another comment about my body being right for the film. LOL. Now, I have heard other B.S. reasons for discontent, but not about my body. LOL. J.R. still compliments me every time he sees me which feels great. Losing it is one thing for sure. Not relapsing is the tough part. Once you hit that goal, it is much easier to maintain, though."

- What is the current state of the movie?

"People ask me that a lot. It's understandable, of course. Movies are so difficult to get greenlit - no matter how great the concept. Our producer, Michael Meltzer, has talked with many Hollywood production people about this project. I have personally always seen it as an international television movie, but that is just me. Movies take a long time to obtain production, but by the same token a ton of useless garbage seemingly gets made without a hitch. In this case, there is serious money potential here, and that is what interests film investors. That's just the business. No one has given up on it. It just takes time."


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Bon Scott Producers Cannot Come To An Agreement With Amazon Studios

Producers of the much discussed Bon Scott biopic, Bon Scott - The Legend of AC/DC Unauthorised, have announced that they were unable to reach an agreement with Amazon Studios who optioned the story. Producer Michael Meltzer, who has himself worked on a dozen or so films, has worked tirelessly to secure a production deal for the highly-anticipated film, but has oft made clear that even a film of this pre-production popularity is difficult to get made.

Amazon Studios optioned the story fairly recently, but Bon Scott producers could not negotiate the terms that were acceptable to get the project greenlit. Similar issues persisted with NBCUniversal in London, although the issues that trumped that deal seemed to have been directly related to the fact that NBCUniversal's subsidiary now has controlling interest over AC/DC's music catalogue.

A source at High Voltage Productions in the United States commented that, "we have negotiated with some big names in the film industry for certain, but many of them are looking to budget $20M+ feature films, have a crack cast in place, and have 10%-20% secured funding in place prior to formulating a distribution deal and production bond. This isn't that type of film and has caused an ongoing impasse."

The source went on to add, "To our team, this is a true independent film, although we are now leaning very strongly towards an international television licensing deal or a network here in the U.S. It is prime for that wealthy investor fan who wants to make a movie of passion rather than the typical cookie-cutter, tenth-sequel franchise flick."

The film's star and principal writer, Rob Liotti, commented, "I haven't been shy about expressing the good and bad surrounding this project. Networks are starved for good content and more and more networks pop up weekly. Sooner or later, someone is going to have to address new content. The fact is that even projects are popular as this one are difficult to get produced to say the least. It is amazing what garbage is out there and on television as we speak, but... Bottom line is that a lot of AC/DC fans wanted instantaneous production results and a film to be ready in 12 months. Reality is that even many of the very well-performing films starring A-list actors and crews sometimes take years to be greenlit and enter principal photography."

AC/DC have also not been the biggest proponents of the project either. Prior to Malcolm Young's untimely medical condition and departure from the band, AC/DC's legal team and that of Albert Productions made very clear that they did not support the project. Furthermore, the Bon Scott Estate flatly refused any amount of money to cooperate with producers, thus making the project 'unauthorised' but certainly legal, according to legal scholars at Stanford University who reviewed the project's legalities.

Producers seem to be eying such networks as AXS, fuse, VH1, etc. in the United States, although it seem clear that given the international flavour of this project that it could easily end up a U.K. or Aussie production. It remains to be seen...

One thing is clear: fans want it, and producers want to make it.