Is Rock of Ages (2012) Based on a True Story?

‘Rock of Ages’ is a 2012 film directed by Adam Shankman. It is about Drew and Sherrie, who are both musicians aspirations. Together, they deal with the highs and lows associated with working in the music business. The ensemble cast of the visually spectacular musical comedy includes Julianne Haough, Diego Boneta and Alec Baldwin as well as Paul Giamatti and Tom Cruise. But viewers are often left wondering about the story’s origins because of its plot and storytelling. If you wish to find out whether ‘Rock of Ages’ is based on real events or a true story, here is everything you need to know!

Is Rock of Ages a True Story or a Fiction?

No, ‘Rock of Ages’ is not based on a true story. The movie is an official adaptation of the stage musical of the same name written by Chris D’Arienzo, directed by Kristin Hanggi, and choreographed by Kelly Devine. In 2005, the musical premiered on stage with performances in small Los Angeles theaters as well as Off-Broadway. Its growing popularity led to the show’s arrival on Broadway in 2009. ‘Rock of Ages’ graced Broadway for nearly six years before closing in 2015. The show’s success on Broadway led to several international adaptations, including three UK versions.

The basic concept of the jukebox musical is to pay homage to classic rock songs and artists of the 1980s. In an interview, Hanggi revealed that after she signed on to the project, she searched for a writer to capture the show’s playful and self-aware tone. As a result, Chris D’Arienzo, a self-proclaimed music geek, was brought on to craft the musical’s story. D’Arienzo explained that while preparing the story, he drew from a catalog of popular glam metal bands and songs, giving him a certain level of freedom. “One factor working in favor of ‘Rock of Ages’ is that it draws from a large catalog of music, rather than just one artist’s songs,” D’Arienzo said, speaking to Today.

Furthermore, D’Arienzo, Hanggi, and Devine share a personal connection to the 80s glam metal and rock genre. They likely used their personal experiences to give a real touch to the musical’s self-awareness and silly, yet charming antics. The musical’s film adaptation includes hit songs from artists like Journey, Bon Jovi. Poison. Twisted Sister. Steve Perry. These songs plant the narrative in the 80s and help it explore the music industry’s glitz, glamour, and obstacles. It is clear that the stage musical is a love note to all things 80s music.

Although the film adaptation stays true to the themes of stage musical, it is notable that it differs from the source material in significant ways. Collider interviewed Adam Shankman about the changes that he made to adapt the musical for the big screen. “Let’s put it this way, the biggest change I made, well, two big changes. First was that in the play, the point of view is from Lonnie, the narrator’s perspective, (and) the point of view of the movie is Sherrie’s perspective,” Shankman said.

The second major change is that the musical’s primary antagonists, Hertz and Franz Klinemann, are absent from the film adaptation. Shankman explained the decision to change the story’s antagonists saying that he found it difficult to understand the characters’ motivations. Shankman instead introduced Mayor Mike Whitmore (Bryan Cranston), and Patricia Whitmore, Catherine Zeta Joneses, two officials in government who serve the Klinemanns’ in-story purpose. Shankman stated that the change was motivated in part by the actual events and reactions of the 80s heavy-metal music scene.

Ultimately, ‘Rock of Ages’ is not based on a true story. This adaptation is a play adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same title, but it takes some creative liberties. However, the story is fictional. The film draws inspiration from music’s influence on culture and society in the 1980s. Hence, the film is grounded in reality and touches viewers who share a connection to the era’s music.

Continue reading: Best Movie Musicals

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