Groovy news! Legendary Pictures’ Thomas Tull has reached an agreement with Experience Hendrix to produce the definitive Jimi Hendrix biopic. In the past, the Hendrix estate has roadblocked a number of potential films, including a previous offer from Legendary, in order to preserve the rock icon’s legend. Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips, The Bourne Ultimatum) is in talks to direct the film from a script by Scott Silver (The Fighter, 8 Mile)
The Jimi Hendrix biopic is a passion project for both Greengrass and Legendary, who previously approached the Hendrix estate with a spec script by Max Borenstein. Per Deadline, the estate was uncooperative at the time because they feared a movie might hurt sales from Hendrix’s ever-popular music catalogue. By locking down a deal with Experience Hendrix, Legendary has ensured the rights to Hendrix’s best-loved songs like ‘Purple Haze’, ‘Voodoo Child’, and my personal favorite, ‘Red House’.
12 Years a Slave scribe John Ridley previously wrote and directed an unauthorized biopic about Hendrix’s formative years, Jimi: All Is By My Side, but it’s impossible to truly capture the man without the music and the Andre Benjamin-led film suffered for it.
With the matter of music out of the way, the obvious question becomes – what actor could possibly bring the musical legend and cultural icon to life? Before negotiations stalled, Greengrass and Tull had conversations with Anthony Mackie for the role. With Mackie currently riding high on the success of Avengers: Age of Ultron, he remains an ideal candidate for the role. Greengrass is currently developing another Bourne installment with Matt Damon for a July 2016 release, but has no projects on his schedule after that. The Jimi Hendrix biopic is an exciting shift for the director, who is known for his tense political thrillers. However, that sensibility should serve him well in addressing the complex historical and cultural facets of the Hendrix’s time period.
What do you think? Is Greengrass a good fit for the material? Who would you like to see in the role of Hendrix? Sound off in the comments.