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METALLICA doesn’t often grant permission for the use of its songs in movies, making just a handful of exceptions over its nearly 30-year career. But the group likes an upcoming independent feature called “Hesher” enough to let the filmmakers use some of the band’s music.

According to, star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays the title character, admits he based much of his character’s behavior on late METALLICA bassist Cliff Burton, who died when METALLICA‘s tour bus crashed in Sweden in 1986, and he was stunned when his rock idols recognized the similarities without prompting.

Gordon-Levitt says, “They dug the movie. It was a real honor and I took a lot of inspiration for this character from the basis of some of their early albums, this guy named Cliff Burton, who played on ‘Master Of Puppets’ and ‘Ride The Lightning’. And when the band saw it, they were like, ‘You know what?! He reminds us of Cliff,’ and we didn’t even tell them that’s what we were going for. And they let us use their songs and I was actually moved because I grew up headbanging to METALLICA.”

Gordon-Levitt previously said about the “Hesher” film “I loved making this movie, and I love how it turned out. It’s hilarious, but it’s not just funny, it’s smart, it’s sad, it’s hopeful, it’s heartfelt, and it fuckin’ rocks . . . And, I’m humbled to say, METALLICA themselves liked it so much they gave us their music, they never give their stuff to movies!”

“Hesher” arrives on May 13 in theatres. The film also stars recent Oscar winner Natalie Portman and “The Office”‘s Rainn Wilson.

The movie is a dark comedy-drama about a disturbed young man, played by Levitt, who wreaks havoc in the lives of a boy and his father after the death of the boy’s mother.

The film’s title on all its advertising and marketing materials is done in the style of the METALLICA logo.

The first official trailer for “Hesher” can be viewed below.

METALLICA songs have been used in documentaries like “Paradise Lost: The Child Murders At Robin Hood Hills” and “Absent”, and the occasional feature film like “Zombieland”.

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