"Rock Star," the movie starring Mark Wahlberg as a salesman-turned-rock star, has been given an April 13 release date, and a soundtrack dominated by Wahlberg's fictional band, Steel Dragon, will hit stores on April 3.
Sources close to the production, which was shooting with the working title of "Metal God," say musicians making cameo appearances will include Colleen Fitzpatrick, a.k.a. Vitamin C, playing a fan, and Sean Kinney and Mike Inez of Alice in Chains appearing as members of a fictional Seattle band not much of a stretch.
Sharp-eyed fans will also spot Myles Kennedy of the Mayfield Four and Chris Hower of Radford in the film, directed by Stephen Herek.
Wahlberg's character is styled after Tim "Ripper" Owens, who fronted a Judas Priest cover band before being tapped to become the new lead singer of the actual group. Wahlberg, fans may recall, used to perform under the handle Marky Mark with his group the Funky Bunch, while his brother Donnie was a member of New Kids on the Block (see "Mark Wahlberg Scores With 'Big Hit,' Discusses Possible Record With Brother").
Steel Dragon features Dokken's Jeff Pilson on bass, Jason Bonham on drums and Zakk Wylde on guitar. The tribute band that gives Wahlberg his start, called Blood Pollution, includes the Verve Pipe's Brian Van Der Ark, Slaughter's Blas Elias and Zakk Wylde bandmate Nick Catanese.
Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind also has a small role in the film as the lead singer of a rival cover group. Jennifer Aniston plays Wahlberg's girlfriend.
The title "Metal God" was axed in favor of "Rock Star" to take the film out of the restrictive heavy metal niche and into a wider, more accessible rock genre, a Warner Bros. spokesperson said. Contrary to published reports, the spokesperson said, the switch was not spurred by a complaint from ex-Priest singer Rob Halford, who uses the "metal god" nickname.
The soundtrack will feature Steel Dragon performing a half-dozen songs written for the movie by such artists as Jay and Jeremy Popoff (Lit), Twiggy Ramirez (Marilyn Manson), Peter Beckett (Survivor, Little River Band), Steve Plunkett (Autograph), Sammy Hagar, Desmond Child and Richie Blackmore. Additional tracks for the disc are pending.
The album and film will also feature a new song from the Verve Pipe as well as popular '80s songs by the likes of Bon Jovi, Mötely Crüe and Kiss.