Genre: Comedy-Drama (based on the novella of the same name by Fred Smith)

Logline: Looking for new lead singer, a high school garage band reaches out to an aging rock star--Axl Rose--who accepts on the condition the band does things his way.

Synopsis: In the late 1980s, Axl Rose was the most volatile frontman in the history of rock 'n roll, the badest of all badasses with an appetite for destruction and a band of renegades that was on top of the world.

25 years later, his original band long broken up, Axl decides he's fed up touring with a gang of musical mercenaries playing lackluster music for crowds eager to pay top-dollar for a chance to feel young again.

When he receives a random message from a garage band of teenage misfits in Omaha, Nebraska, Axl cancels his South American tour and accepts their request to become their new lead singer, on two conditions...they never mention his name and they do things his way.

Part sensei, part drill sergeant, Axl whips the band into shape, forcing them to get off the fascination of stardom and put in the disciplined work that makes a band great.  

Along the way, he bonds with the band's young drummer, Dave, who reminds Axl of the naive dreamer he used to be when his rock 'n roll journey began. While teaching Dave about the ways of life, love, and music, Axl finds the courage to set right all the things he let slip during his rise to the top decades earlier.  

A coming of age story for all ages, The Estranged Rose calls love and music to center stage in a way that will leave audiences begging for the house lights to stay down and the show to rock on.           

Axl Rose

"It was as though he just expected strange things to happen to him...all the time."

--Mick Wall, biographer

Just how popular/relevant is Axl Rose today?

  • A Google search of “Axl Rose” yields 15 million results.

  • To date, the Guns N' Roses has sold more than 100 million records worldwide (41st bestselling artist in history).

  • The video for their song “November Rain” (originally released in 1991 and a focus of the movie The Estranged Rose) currently has more than 1.3 billion views on YouTube.

  • As of April 2020, Axl Rose’s official Twitter account has 1.2 million followers.

  • GN’R’s official YouTube channel has 7.3 million subscribers.

  • The fan-generated YouTube channel “Guns N’ Roses Central)" has 47,000 subscribers

  • The “Not in this Lifetime” Tour (April 2016-Nov 2019) was the third-highest-grossing tour of all time. (158 dates, 5.3 million tickets sold, $584 million grossed)




The following text appears in white over a black screen: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil 2014. 




A raucous crowd of nearly 10,000 anxiously awaits the headliner’s show. If we can’t tell who they’ve come to see by the t-shirts, leather pants, and bandanas the Brazilian crowd sports, we certainly know when we see the enormous iconic two-pistol, two-blossom logo banner hanging over the drum riser: GUNS N’ ROSES. 




The sounds of the awaiting crowd seep into the room, which has but one occupant: W. AXL ROSE. The storied and notorious rock n roll frontman is dressed for the stage, ready for destruction. He stares into the mirror, focus and pensiveness in his eyes.


The following images are stock photos to suggest a visual style of the characters that make up "Codswallop," the high-school band Axl agrees to help.

"Jenna Taylor"

The spunky singer/guitarist has music in her soul and a chip on her shoulder after being kicked out of her last band by her ex-boyfriend. She joins Codswallop seeking revenge, but she finds so much more.

"Dave Rogers"

Codswallop's drummer is the band's voice of reason. He and Axl develop a bond. Axl can see how music is the way Dave relates to the world. He can also see the torch Dave carries for Jenna.

"Van and Earl Stephenson"

The Stephenson brothers haven't agreed an anything since birth. But they love music. And if you mess with one of their bandmates you'd better be ready to chug an entire can of whoop-ass. 



on whom Jenna's mom, "Stephanie Taylor" is based.

One of the planet's most recognizable supermodels in the early 1990s, Stephanie Seymour was romantically involved with Axl Rose at the height of the singer's fame.

She was immortalized as Rose's bride in the video for "November Rain" in 1991.

Seymour and Rose's romance ended as publically as it began with lawsuit that split the couple for good in 1993. 

The character of Jenna's mom is heavily based on Seymour, focussing on what she might be in 2014 when, like Axl, she is decades removed from the spotlight. 

Comparable Films

The Dirt

Based on the bestselling autobiography from Mötley Crüe, the film is an unflinching tale of success and excess as four misfits rise from the streets of Hollywood to the heights of international fame.



Douglas Booth

Machine Gun Kelly



Worldwide Gross (estimated)

$28 Million

N/A (Netflix)


School of Rock

After being kicked out of his rock band, a middle-aged rocker becomes a substitute teacher of an uptight elementary private school, only to try and turn his class into a rock band.



Jack Black

Joan Cusack


Budget (estimated)

Worldwide Gross (estimated)

$35 Million

$131 Million


Begin Again

A chance encounter between a disgraced music-business executive and a young singer-songwriter, new to Manhattan, turns into a promising collaboration between the two talents.



Keira Knightly

Mark Ruffalo


Budget (estimated)

Worldwide Gross (estimated)

$8 Million

$63 Million


© 2020 Fred Smith


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