‘Bikeriders’ Maneuvers Through 60’s Chicago Motorcycle Gang Life

US actor Austin Butler attends the Los Angeles premiere of Focus Features' "The Bikeriders" at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California on June 17, 2024. (AFP)
US actor Austin Butler attends the Los Angeles premiere of Focus Features' "The Bikeriders" at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California on June 17, 2024. (AFP)
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‘Bikeriders’ Maneuvers Through 60’s Chicago Motorcycle Gang Life

US actor Austin Butler attends the Los Angeles premiere of Focus Features' "The Bikeriders" at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California on June 17, 2024. (AFP)
US actor Austin Butler attends the Los Angeles premiere of Focus Features' "The Bikeriders" at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California on June 17, 2024. (AFP)

For Austin Butler, getting into his role as the stoic bike rider named Benny in the Focus Features film "The Bikeriders" meant learning everything he could about riding a motorcycle.

"Just riding for so many hours that it feels like second nature and then by the time I'm there I'm not having to think about the motorcycle or anything," the "Elvis" actor said.

The film is based on photojournalist Danny Lyon's 1968 book of the same name, featuring photos and interviews with members of the Chicago Outlaws Motorcycle Club.

Jeff Nichols, who wrote and directed "The Bikeriders," believed it was important to reimagine Lyon’s work through a feature film.

"You can't pick that book up and not be captivated by these photographs and these interviews," he said.

"The people in it, they just feel honest, and they also feel really cool. You're looking at their hair, you're looking at their bikes and their clothes and the detail work that they put in their clothes, it really is a compelling thing," Nichols added.

The drama movie takes place in the 1960s and follows the lives of local outcasts in a Chicago motorcycle gang called Outlaws MC that become like family.

Their lives suddenly change when the club becomes a hub for violence that forces Benny to choose between his family and a life of crime.

"The Bikeriders" arrives in theaters on Friday.

Tom Hardy plays the leader of the gang named Johnny while Jodie Comer portrays Benny’s wife, Kathy.

Hardy appreciated how immersive the world of the 1960s biker gang was in the film.

"You could sense how beautifully laced it was in nostalgia of the period and the attention to detail was really specific, that it was hard not to be drawn in by the evocation," he said.

Part of the authenticity of the film was Nichols accessing some of Lyon's interviews with his subjects on reel-to-reel tapes to share with all the actors, which was very helpful for Comer.

"It just became very important for me not to worry about doing a generic Chicago and then worry about people judging me on that," Comer said.

Both Comer and Hardy had the task of taking on the unique pacing and Midwestern dialects of their characters based on Lyon's interview recordings.

"She is larger than life and she has some interesting stresses and inflections but it's such an insight as to who she is," the "Killing Eve" actor added about her character Kathy.



Bruce Springsteen Is Officially a Billionaire

 Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band perform during a concert at Strawberry Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, on Monday, July 15, 2024. (AP)
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band perform during a concert at Strawberry Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, on Monday, July 15, 2024. (AP)
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Bruce Springsteen Is Officially a Billionaire

 Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band perform during a concert at Strawberry Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, on Monday, July 15, 2024. (AP)
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band perform during a concert at Strawberry Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, on Monday, July 15, 2024. (AP)

The Boss is officially a billionaire, Forbes said Friday, estimating that Bruce Springsteen is conservatively worth $1.1 billion.

The guitar hero bard behind hits including "The River" has solidified much of his wealth in recent years, the financial outlet indicated, in no small part due to a blockbuster sale in 2021 of his music catalog to Sony for an estimated half-a-billion dollars.

The deal followed his wildly successful Broadway show run. Now, Springsteen is on a global tour currently set to run through 2025.

According to industry tracker Pollstar, in 2023 Springsteen sold more than 1.6 million concert tickets, raking in $380 million in revenue.

And the 74-year-old "Dancing in the Dark" singer shows no signs of slowing down.

For decades the "Jungleland" songwriter has penned music that focuses a sentimental lens on underdogs and the working class -- and he's sold 140 million albums globally, placing him among the all-time bestselling musicians ever.

A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee with 20 Grammys and an Oscar to his name, Springsteen is also set to be the subject of a forthcoming biopic, with Jeremy Allen White of "The Bear" fame slated to play him.

His marathon shows are the stuff of legend, with the longest clocking in at more than four hours, a performance he pulled off in Helsinki in 2012.

Other industry heavyweights who have hit the billionaire mark include Rihanna, Jay-Z and Taylor Swift.