Alex Winter is best known to metal fans as the guy from the Bill & Ted movies who isn’t Keanu Reeves, but for the past twenty years, he’s actually been maintaing a successful career as a director; he’s helmed some not-very-well-known indie movies, like the cult comedy Freaked and the psychological thriller Fever, but also lots of television, including episodes of Jimmy Kimmel Live! and two of the Ben 10 T.V. movies (which, if you have kids, you may be familiar with). And in 2002, he acquired the life rights to Napster co-founder Shawn Fanning, and announced plans to write and direct a feature film about Napster. Unfortunately, The Social Network kinda-sorta beat him to the punch last year — even though that film wasn’t really about Napster, it now seems clear that Justin Timerberlake’s portrayal of a Napster’s other co-founder, Sean Parker, is going to stick in audiences’ minds for some time to come.

But Winter isn’t giving up on the story just yet! He’s gotten VH1 to finance a documentary on the topic. And before you think “Oh, well, so it will be some shitty, low-budget Behind the Music affair,” remember that VH1 also backed a little documentary called Anvil: The Story of Anvil.

Winter tells Deadline why he finds this whole Napster debacle so fascinating:

“Nobody wanted to deal with this college kid and the music industry took a hard stance and focused on shutting him down. It’s a gray area. I can understand Fanning’s side, but I can also empathize with the horror that Metallica’s Lars Ulrich felt when a single that wasn’t even finished ended up on the radio.”

Fanning and Parker are already onboard to be included in the doc. I don’t know if Ulrich (or any of the other members of Metallica) will submit to his one-bajillionth interview on the subject, but it’s kinda funny to think about the Metallica drummer being interviewed by one of metal’s greatest dunderheads; I mean, it’s just bizarre intersection of extreme music’s history.

Regardless of whether or not Ulrich decides to participate, this could potentially be a really interesting look at what was ostensibly the beginning of the end for the music industry as the world once knew it.


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