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Andre 3000's Jimi Hendrix Feature Film Project Is A Go! John Ridley Writing & Directing

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by Tambay A. Obenson
May 7, 2012 9:46 AM
17 Comments
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Another biopic on a black public figure we can scratch off my list of 50+ Biopics In Limbo (read that list HERE if you haven't).

As you may recall...  Andre 3000 has long been attached to star in a Jimi Hendrix project, going all the way back to 2004, which the Hughes brothers were once supposed to direct; and since then, Lenny Kravitz and Anthony Mackie have also been said to be attached to Hendrix projects, though neither has materialized.

Most recently, last summer, actress Hayley Atwell revelead in an interview with Esquire magazine for their August issue, that she would next be co-starring in a Jimi Hendrix biopic with Andre 3000 playing the lead role, which, as I noted in that post, likely meant that Andre 3000's Hendrix film wasn't dead, and actually might be getting closer to being a reality.

Just like Bob Marley and Marvin Gaye, in recent years, there’ve been numerous attempts to bring Jimi Hendrix’s life-story to the theatrical screen. But securing rights to the man’s story has proven to be quite the challenge with Experience Hendrix, the gatekeeper to the musician’s estate, which is run by his stepsister, Janie Hendrix.

Remember my post from August 2009 on the announced attempt by Legendary Pictures, in correlation with Woodstock’s 40th anniversary, where Hendrix's performance of The Star-Spangled Banner was a seminal moment of the original 1969 festival...

A writer had already been hired to work on the script, hoping that it would be approved for production by the Hendrix estate, which has been very protective of Jimi's story - and rightfully so.

And then in December of 2009, we reported on another Hendrix movie being in the proverbial pipeline, titled Slide, and described as "a fictionalized account of what happened during Hendrix's 'lost weekend'."

The legendary story goes, in brief... in September 1969, Hendrix was the subject of a hoax kidnapping, orchestrated by his manager.

However, in the fictionalized Slide, the story will revolve around two gangsters, desperately trying to get away from a mob boss they double-crossed, who inadvertently kidnap Hendrix, then at the height of his career and drug addiction. Along the way, Hendrix ends up teaching one of the gangsters about honesty, and Hendrix learns to clean up his act.

Will this be a comedy, drama, thriller...?? "Quirky" was the word used to describe it.

Producer Carol Lewis likened the project to Peter Bogdanovich's The Cat's Meow, a 2001 dramedy film I haven't seen, calling it more of a road movie than a biopic. Apparently, none of Hendrix's music will be used, nor will any of his family be featured, and so, obtaining rights from the Hendrix estate won't be an issue.

I haven't heard anything about either project since initial announcements were made 2 years ago.

Fast-forward to today, and it looks like it's now Andre 3000's project to lose, as IFTN reports exclusively that the rapper/actor is indeed set to star as Jimi Hendrix in a new movie that will begin filming in Ireland later this month, to be titled All Is By My Side, which will follow Hendrix’s years in England, from 1966 to 1967, when he put together his debut album, Are You Experienced.

The feature film will be written and directed by John Ridley (primarily a screenwriter; this will be his second feature film directorial effort). 

The project is currently in pre-production in Wicklow, with principal photography set to begin in three weeks time in Dublin and Wicklow. The shoot will last six weeks in total.

All Is By My Side will be co-produced by Irish producer Tristan Orpen Lynch for Dublin-based production company Subotica Entertainment alongside Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly’s Darko Entertainment and Britain’s Matador Pictures. The three companies will produce the movie under the banner of Watchtower Film Productions

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the 2000 TV movie on Hendrix that starred Wood Harris.

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17 Comments

  • Cheryl Sanders | May 10, 2012 9:17 PMReply

    I really hope Andre 3000 captures the essence of Hendrix speaking voice...that is the deal breaker for me...Andre get into your study mode...Hendrix speaking voice had a subtle quality unlike the average black man...you got your work cut out to get it...I wish you the best in this role...I love the story of Hendrix not that he died...but he managed to break through social barriers and had a great following...Now you on the other hand Mr. Andre 3000 have quite a versatile background Music... Idlewild... you can be comedic and serious...counting on you to do the damn thing...all eyes on Dre...Good Day...

  • Alex | May 10, 2012 4:43 PMReply

    I just hope they make it real. Jimi was a trill ass dude, on a shit load of drugs, hung out with some dangerous people, was kidnapped by the mafia (twice?) - I really don't want some bullshit hollywood bio-pic about the music, bio's are supposed to be about the man, we ALL ALREADY HAVE THE MUSIC.

  • CareyCarey | May 10, 2012 4:48 PM

    Alex, you're a dangerous man because the truth hurts some folks. Btw, would you believe I got high with Jimi?

  • ABP | May 10, 2012 12:41 AMReply

    I love Andre and this role was absolutely made for him.....I hope however no one on set forget their medication and tries some silly stuff....

  • YorMajesty Khalifa Ali | May 9, 2012 12:25 PMReply

    Hear My Train A Coming
    http://www.youtube.com/yormajesty

  • Lori | May 9, 2012 12:41 AMReply

    Yes he should. Andre looks like Hendrix and his style is similar. He also has a quite demeanor like Hendrix had. Andre is the perfect man to play the late great Jimmy Hendrix

  • Miles Ellison | May 8, 2012 7:33 PMReply

    The hacks in Hollywood should just leave this story alone.

  • Brandt | May 8, 2012 7:22 PMReply

    Everything Rock knows about the guitar after 1970 came from his psychedelic twisting of what the instrument could do. I paid homage to Hendrix with a portrait called Purple Haze on the anniversary of his passing recently. You can see it at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/09/purple-haze-jimi-hendrix.html and tell me how the voodoo child’s music has influenced you!

  • Muse | May 8, 2012 12:29 PMReply

    A Hendrix biopic that doesn't feature Hendrix's music...I'll pass. And while I love Andre 3000 as a rapper, I'm not seeing him as Hendrix. At all. Jeffrey Wright would be my number one choice. Wood Harris (who played Avon Barksdale on the Wire) could also carry that role. Lenny Kravitz, maybe. But Andre? Not seeing it.

  • Oliver Wendell Smythe | May 8, 2012 12:45 PM

    Actually, Wood Harris already has played Hendrix in a 2000 made-for-TV film of the same title: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0260949/. I just watched it last week, and it's not too bad. He really does a pretty good job at playing Hendrix.

  • Orville | May 7, 2012 9:58 PMReply

    Andre 3000 looks nothing like Jimi Hendrix and he's not a good actor. Jimi Hendrix was so talented such a shame that a crappy rapper is the star of the movie.

  • Xi | May 7, 2012 11:12 PM

    Crappy rapper? Don't ever speak again...in life...ever.

  • AccidentalVisitor | May 7, 2012 7:00 PMReply

    Disaster. I like Andre 3000 but he's too short for Jimi. But that's a minor thing. The main problem is John Ridley IMO. The fact that he remains THE go-t0 black screenwriter in Hollywood says a lot about the pathetic state of working black screenwriters.

  • Mekisha Hale | May 7, 2012 6:54 PMReply

    It's the correct choice for the actor to play the legend guitarist Jimi Hendrix. Actor Andre 3000 will portray this legendary artist. The other projects could just go back to the drawing board,the comedy called Slide doesn't sound interesting at all,but simply doesn't make sense at all to make a film fictional on the bases of a really silly idea. But the Andre 3000 project 'All is By My Side' does have bite and a story to tell. Good luck to Andre 3000.

  • Ash | May 7, 2012 4:08 PMReply

    Yes!

  • other song | May 7, 2012 12:53 PMReply

    good for John Ridley!

  • jazmia | May 7, 2012 10:11 AMReply

    lets have children

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