One Direction has a big movie coming out

(Above) UK boy band One Direction members (from left) Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik, both 20, and Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Harry Styles, who are all 19.

Two weeks ago, the Twitterverse exploded.

Directioners - the term used for One Direction fans - were upset with the British version of a little magazine called GQ.

Although GQ had given the UK boy band not one, but five covers - one for each member - Directioners were appalled by how their idols and the fans had been painted in the interview.

Mop-haired Harry Styles, in particular, was portrayed as a ladies' man, then was asked point blank whether he was bisexual, after there were reports that he is dating a British radio DJ. The fans were also described as "hysterical" and "vociferous" beasts.

Then, over the weekend, the UK's Daily Mirror did a hatchet job on member Louis Tomlinson's mum, accusing her of stealing another woman's husband.

That prompted Tomlinson to take to Twitter, vowing: "As long as I am in One Direction we won't be working with the mirror."

Styles, Liam Payne and Niall Horan are 19, while Zayn Malik is 20 and Tomlinson is 21.

They signed with British music mogul Simon Cowell's record label after being formed and finishing third in his reality TV singing competition The X Factor in 2010.

The recent brouhahas are just the latest incidents in the group's two-year battle with tabloid headlines over girls, alleged feuds with other boy bands and supposed party hardy ways.

But just in the nick of time, the boys are blasting into cinemas everywhere to set things right. In 3-D, no less. From Aug 29, fans will get to see them on the big screen in their concert-documentary movie, One Direction: This Is Us.

Directed by Morgan Spurlock- the same guy who made a big bad monster out of fast food giant McDonald's with his Oscar-nominated 2004 documentary Super Size Me - it aims to present a version of the boys neglected by the tabloids.

Spurlock told Teen Vogue in a recent interview that he's certain the movie will set the record straight on some popular One Direction myths, especially among non-fans.

Said the US film-maker: "Once you see (the film), so many things that you may have heard - oh, they don't have any talent, they just got put together, they're a fake band - all of that falls by the wayside because you realise they are five really talented guys who were incredibly fortunate to get put together."

Like other high-profile autobiographical concert movies Katy Perry: Part Of Me (2012) and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2011), This Is Us follows the fivesome on tour, splicing that footage with more emotional scenes of them with their families.

"These guys were from very humble backgrounds," Spurlock told The Daily Mail.

"Niall is from a family in Mullingar in Ireland who lived in a tiny house of two rooms. Each one of these guys realises how important their upbringing was for their lives. I find that very touching."

The homecoming process is repeated with the rest. Payne's father, who had a rural upbringing, is in the film talking about how he can't give his son any advice. Then there's a teary scene in which Zayn's mum is shown crying over the phone with her son, after he buys her a new house. He tells her to "get off the phone... before I start crying".

Explaining the gift, Zayn tells the camera: "This is what it's all been about for me. This is why I wanted to do it - so that I could give something back to my parents."

Concert bits

Even the concert bits in the film focus on their subjects' work ethic. Spurlock started filming at their Tokyo concert in January and also got footage from different stops on their European tour

In an interview with GQ magazine last month, Spurlock said: "Like a lot of other people, you come into this thinking: 'They put them together on this show where everything's been given to them', and you start to realise, even if you're put together as a band, that only gets you so far.

"There's plenty more that comes along with that, from actually having some kind of charisma and talent to keeping people interested in you to having the wherewithal to have your s*** together.

"One of the biggest things is exactly how hard they work and how much they put into what they do."

Sounds like This Is Us will be a far cry from The Wanted Life, the E! Entertainment reality show on rival UK boy band The Wanted, which focuses on dramatic group dynamics and the parties in the boys' Los Angeles mansion.

Nothing like that for One Direction, thank you very much. Spurlock told The Daily Mail that "their story is about two things - dreams and family". And the boys have backed that up.

In other interviews about their non-stop touring, they have said that they're so busy, there's no time for them to get into trouble.

In that now-infamous GQ article, Payne is quoted as saying: "Groupies? We don't have time to party!"

Nothing in the film is scripted, according to the boys.

Speaking to an Irish radio station in May, Horan said: "The fans know us but they know the public perception ... it would be good for them to see us as friends and as people."

It's also fitting, then, that the movie also focuses on a key part of the One Direction story - the fans.

In addition to fighting all the boys' battles with the press, they have also helped them win trophies, the most recent being the four they took home at the Teen Choice Awards, held in the US on Sunday (Monday, Singapore time). The awards included Choice Group and Choice Single for Live While We're Young.

To discuss the One Direction fandom, the ever-cheeky Spurlock puts a neuroscientist on camera.

The expert's explanation? "Their music triggers a release of dopamine, which provides feelings of joy, happiness, goose bumps...strong pleasures. The screaming girls are not crazy...just happy."

Well, take that, GQ.


Get The New Paper for more stories.

VIDEOS TO WATCH

SERVICES