After much talk and speculation, OutKast rapper, actor (Semi-Pro, Three Brothers, Idlewild), and Gillette Fusion spokesperson Andre Benjamin (aka Andre 3000) has been cast as the Jimi Hendrix in a biopic to be titled ‘All Is By My Side.’ But hold up…now the Hendrix estate has released a statement specifically saying the movie cannot include original music or copyrights without their involvement and input.
The film was to begin shooting in Ireland soon, and is to be set in England during 1966-67, when Hendrix recorded his iconic debut album, ‘Are You Experienced.’ John Ridley will direct his own screenplay. He wrote the scripts for ‘U Turn’ and ‘Red Tails,’ and has also received story credit for David O. Russell’s ‘Three Kings.’
“Andre has the musical chops, the artistic sensibility and a devotion to his craft that makes me think he wouldn’t take on this iconic role without knowing that he had something deep to offer,” said MTV’s Gil Kaufman on the rapper’s upcoming portrayal of Hendrix. “Plus, as he’s proven over and over with his many note-perfect, bulls-eye features on songs since he stopped recording his own albums, when he shoots, he shoots to kill.”
Great, the long talked about Hendrix bio-flick will happen…or will it? It won’t be worth making without Hendrix’s original compositions and it looks like some major negotiations will have to take place for that to happen. The Jimi Hendrix estate (Experience Hendrix, LLC) released this statement yesterday:
“Various media outlets have recently published accounts that indicate a feature-length Jimi Hendrix biographical film is nearing production. Experience Hendrix, LLC, the family-owned company entrusted with safeguarding the legacy of Jimi Hendrix and administrator of the Jimi Hendrix music and publishing catalog has made it known many times in the past that no such film, were it to include original music or copyrights created by Jimi Hendrix, can be undertaken without its full participation.
“Experience Hendrix CEO Janie Hendrix, sister of Jimi Hendrix, and the EH board have not ruled out a ‘biopic’ in the future though producing partners would, out of necessity, have to involve the company from the inception of any such film project if it is to include original Jimi Hendrix music or compositions.”
There hasn’t been any response from the filmakers to the Hendrix Estate statement, but we’ll keep your updated on where this is going.