He was Rotten … and now he’s Death. John Lydon, aka punk rock pioneer Johnny Rotten of Sex Pistols fame, has been cast as the grim reaper in “Bad News, Mr. Swanson,” a comedy pilot for FX from Columbia TriStar Television Distribution.
The pilot stars Frank Whaley as a guy whose life is falling apart. When he learns that he has incurable cancer, he ditches all of his obligations and problems and goes wild. The role of Death won’t be any holiday in the sun for Lydon. The character becomes an edgy and taunting presence in Clark Swanson’s life, one that inspires and cajoles him into taking risks and having fun.
“Mr. Swanson” is executive produced by Gavin Polone, Daryl Rowland and Lisa DeBenedictis. “If you’re looking for a rock star to play Death, you can’t do much better than John Lydon,” Polone said. Lydon was most recently seen on U.S. television in 1999 as the host of VH1’s newsmagazine-style series “Rotten Television.”