Inspired by the British pirate radio revolution in the ’60s, the majority of the film’s shoot will take place in a large rusty metal fishing trawler moored off the coast of England in the very waters that kept the rock of the ’60s booming into the U.K.
In 1966 arguably British pop music’s finest era the BBC played only two hours of rock and roll every week. But pirate radio blasted rock and pop from the high seas 24 hours a day. And 25 million people more than half the population of Britain — listened to these pirates every single day.
“The Boat That Rocked” is an ensemble comedy in which the romance takes place between the young people of the ’60s and pop music. It’s about a band of rogue DJs that captivated Britain, playing the music that defined a generation and standing up to a government that, incomprehensibly, preferred jazz.
Leading the cast are Philip Seymour Hoffman as The Count, a big, brash, American god of the airwaves; Bill Nighy as Quentin, the boss of Radio Rock a pirate radio station in the middle of the North Sea that’s populated by an eclectic crew of rock and roll DJs; Rhys Ifans as Gavin, the greatest DJ in Britain who has just returned from his drug tour of America to reclaim his rightful position; Nick Frost as Dave, an ironic, intelligent and cruelly funny co-broadcaster; and Kenneth Branagh (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Hamlet) as British Minister Dormandy, a fearsome government official out for blood against the drug takers and lawbreakers of a once-great nation.