The Bikeriders is the epic American blockbuster that depicts the highs and lows of a motorbike club in '60s and '70s Chicago. Inspired by a 1967 photo book of the same name compiled by Danny Lyon, it's a slick and stylish depiction of the inner workings of the motorcycle world - and there's already talk of big win during the upcoming awards season.
The Bikeriders immerses you in the 'look, feel, and sounds of the bare-knuckled, grease-covered subculture of ’60s motorcycle riders' according to the film's synopsis, and the stellar cast is something to get excited about. We see actors Tom Hardy and Jodie Comer in the leading roles as Johnny and Kathy, with Comer taking on a very different role from her former Killing Eve character Villanelle. Elvis star Austin Butler also plays Benny, the toughest of The Vandals and Johnny’s young protégé, who's in love with Kathy (played by Jodie Comer).
Tom Hardy plays the leader of The Vandals, while Jodie takes on the role of his frustrated wife. Variety film critic Peter Debruge says that her role as Kathy, a respectable, working-class woman who challenges the code of masculinity that the biker gang subscribe to, provides 'the beating heart and backbone for The Bikeriders'.
Deburge goes on to say that Comber 'could hardly have found a more different role than this to display her range'. Kathy narrates the film, showing the tough world of The Vandals through a female lens - and with a brilliantly eccentric Midwestern twang.
Though the film won't be released until next year, it's already winning over critics who praise the film's ability to encapsulate the biker culture and masterfully explore concepts around masculinity. Here's what we know so far about The Bikeriders, including the predicted UK release date, what to expect from the film and the trailer for the movie.
Who is The Bikeriders movie based on?
The Vandals as they appear in the movie are fictional characters, but the idea for the film was inspired by the lives of the Outlaws MC, a mainly Chicago-based motorcycle club. In 1967, Danny Lyon released a photo book called The Bikeriders.
The book explored the lifestyles and personalities of Outlaws MC through black-and-white photographs and transcribed interviews by Lyon. Captivating and authentic, it captured the imagination of Jeff Nichols, who wrote and directed the 2023 movie.
Austin Butler, another of the leads in The Bikeriders, explains how the cast fell in love with the motorcycle world while filming the show. He told Interview Magazine: "To get to ride motorcycles through Cincinnati, through these cornfields, it was just amazing. You know what that feels like, where the wind is in your hair. You feel like you’re mainlining god."
He continued to say that the motorcycle life does come with some minor casualties, however, explaining: "I don’t know how they insured the film, to be honest. [Laughs] And you’re riding behind a picture car as well, it’s kicking up pebbles in your face, so you’re getting hit in the eyes with rocks. It was so visceral."
Were The Vandals a real biker group?
The Vandals didn't really exist, but many of the characteristics of the main players within the group Johnny (Tom Hardy), Benny (Austin Butler), Cal (Boyd Holbrook), Zipco (Michael Shannon) and Cockroach (Emory Cohen) were inspired by The Bikeriders 1967 photo collection and the Outlaws MC.
Taking his cues from Danny Lyon's photographs, Jeff Nichols has created a dynamic group of characters to examine the motorcycle subculture of the '60s and '70s.
Who does Tom Hardy play in The Bikeriders?
Tom Hardy plays Johnny, the head honcho of The Vandals biker gang, as well as a trucker and a family man. Heavily inspired by Marlon Brando's iconic role in The Wild One, Tom Hardy is a cowboy-come-biker in what Peter Debruge called 'one of Hardy’s great roles'. Debruge continues to say that the film 'goes a long way to humanise figures who’ve been long misrepresented on film while giving audiences privileged access to this inner world'.
We hear Tom Hardy talk in a heavy Midwestern accent in the trailer for The Bikeriders, much to the delight of fans. One person on X - formerly Twitter - wrote: "Ahhhhhhh the incredibly soothing sensation of Tom Hardy doing another new voice and accent that has never existed before."
Director and co-writer Jeff Nichols previously revealed how Tom was blown away by co-star Jodie Comber during filming. He recounted in an interview with IndieWire: "She [Jodie Comber] came in with his energy and then Tom countered that energy and got real slow. He was a little nervous because they knew of each other. She came in with both barrels of a shotgun blast to his chest to where he actually skipped a line. Because he was just sitting there, like watching her performance. It was just like, knockout."
What is The Bikeriders release date in the UK?
It looks like we'll have to wait until next year for the release of The Bikeriders. The film experienced some initial setbacks after being picked up for release by Disney and 20th Century Studios before being removed from the calendar. It's since been picked up by Focus Features, but the changeover has slowed things down. The film has also been delayed due to the SAG-AFTRA strike.
While the film had initially been planned for a release in UK cinemas on Friday 1st December, we're now expecting The Bikeriders to hit UK cinemas in 2024, but the exact date is yet to be confirmed.
Is there a trailer for The Bikeriders?
Yes, a (pretty intense) trailer has been released. You can view it below:
Watch this space for the official release date...
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Lauren is the former Deputy Digital Editor at woman&home and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren has bylines in publications such as Marie Claire UK, Red Magazine, House of Coco, women&home, GoodTo, Woman's Own and Woman magazine.
She started writing for national papers and magazines at Medavia news agency, before landing a job in London working as a lifestyle assistant and covers everything from fashion and celebrity style to beauty and careers.
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