Why is Hollywood So Obsessed With Biopics?

Taron Egerton in "Rocketman"

Is it just us or has Hollywood gone biopic crazy? It seems to be the case that every other film coming out is about the life of a famous person. Last year, Hollywood released over 20 films about historical figures alone. But why the buzz?

Don’t get us wrong, Rami Malek’s performance in Bohemian Rhapsody was incredible and Rocketman is bursting with energy and color. The Theory of Everything, First Man and The Imitation game were excellent too. But now Boy George is getting a biopic too, and we’re just wondering when the buzz for biopics is going to end because we’re getting biopic fatigue.

So why is Hollywood still making them? Firstly, biopics attract big actors. It gives them the chance to take on a role the audience already understands and biopic performances are big at the Oscars. Earlier this year, Malek took home more than a handful of prestigious awards including the Academy Award For Best Actor. These films attract big wins and also attract big budgets. So top dogs want to get on board.

Although biopics attract big actors with big salaries, they also save money when it comes to commissioning ideas. The director doesn’t have to pay someone big bucks to coin a new idea, they just have to dip into the public domain and pull out a popular public figure. If they pick a figure that is popular enough, they save money on creative marketing because everybody already knows the person and is sold on them already.

So in a nutshell, the buzz for biopics is largely down to the fact that filmmakers already know they are going to be successful. There is less risk involved and no one is going to start demanding a sequel. They get big actors, big wins and preexisting fans flock to the box office to see the feature.

So if you are planning on writing a script anytime soon, write a biopic. If you work in Hollywood, however, can you please tell them to stop commissioning biopics and start giving us some original characters and stories? Because we’re starting to get really bored of biopics.