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Jimi Hendrix Estate Partners Up w/ ICM To Produce First-Ever Authorized Hendrix Biopic

by Tambay A. Obenson
March 11, 2014 7:29 PM
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The ICM agency has signed the Jimi Hendrix estate - aka, Experience Hendrix LLC, which is run by his family - in a deal that will exploit the brand, starting with the production of a feature film that will tell Hendrix's life story. 

This news comes on the heels of the acquisition announcement of Andre Benjamin's Jimi Hendrix project, now titled, Jimi: All Is By My Side, the John Ridley-directed film that was burdened with controversy since it started production.

The Hendrix project sadly didn't have the approval of Jimi Hendrix's estate to use any of the musician's original songs, with reps for the estate accusing the filmmakers of moving forward with the project without their official permission. Therefore the film is free of all Hendrix-written classics like Purple Haze and The Wind Cries Mary, because of rights issues. To assist, the producers set the film in "Hendrix's pre-fame era," as they said, and the music used are covers of other musicians' songs Hendrix performed.

XLrator Media has set a summer theatrical release for the film (no exact date), after its U.S. Premiere tomorrow, WednesdayMarch 12th at 9pm at the Paramount Theater at the SXSW Film Festival

The film that will be produced under this new ICM deal will therefore be the first authorized by Experience Hendrix LLC, and will have their full cooperation, and thus, will include many of Hendrix's original classics.

"We’re delighted to be associated with ICM Partners on this project that’s been a long time coming,” Janie Hendrix, sister of the late musician, said. “Our concern has always been that any biography of Jimi that employs his music be held to the very highest standard of cinematic excellence. His musical legacy deserves no less. Our partners at ICM are ideal insofar as they completely understand that the use of his music in such a film is a monumental responsibility that will resonate through generations to come as Jimi’s artistry has since the 1960s.

Obviously a direct jab at Ridley's film.

The question now is, who will be cast to play Jimi Hendrix in what will likely be a much higher profile project - this one documenting his life from birth to death. And don't say Andre Benjamin, because I'm quite sure he won't be in the running. 

Past actors whose names have been attached to Hendrix projects include Eddie Murphy, Will Smith and Anthony Mackie, but I also seriously doubt that any of them would be considered at this point. Keep in mind that the Hendrix estate was presented with projects packaged with each of the above actors, and reportedly rejected them all for various reasons. So clearly they have their own ideas.

Who would you cast?

I say, go with an unknown and surround him with A-listers, if necessary to shore up the film's budget and distribution.

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  • lady miss kier | March 14, 2014 8:59 AMReply

    Andre 3000 would be perfect !

  • Marie | March 13, 2014 3:36 PMReply

    I think you got it right with the use of the word "exploit." I find it impossible to believe that NONE of the projects presented to the family in the past "held to the very highest standard of cinematic excellence." Were they waiting for Spielberg or Scorsese to knock on their door with a pile of cash? I'm guessing that the family was either trying to maximize their return on turning over the music rights and/or they're concerned about Hendrix being shown negatively in some way. It will be interesting to see the "very highest standard of cinematic excellence" that they end up approving. If it goes to Lee Daniels and his boy Danny Strong, that sound you hear will be me wailing in pain.

  • Robert Watson | March 13, 2014 10:17 AMReply

    Nope. Not here for it.

  • Tyron Tackett | March 11, 2014 11:56 PMReply

    Unknown and someone who can play a guitar lefthanded and yes ACT!

  • happybrowngirl | March 11, 2014 10:34 PMReply

    Can Gary Clark Jr. act?!!

  • Austin Hendrix | March 12, 2014 12:10 AM

    Let me tell you bout the love between the moon and the deep blue sea...

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