Jimi Hendrix is proving popular for the big screen lately. Last year brought with it John Ridley's “Jimi: All Is By My Side” with Spirit Award nominee Andre Benjamin in the starring role. Now comes word that Legendary Pictures will finally move ahead on developing a biopic about the musician with “Captain Phillips” helmer Paul Greengrass set to direct.
I say finally because Greengrass and Legendary's Thomas Tull had a shot at making a Hendrix film four years ago, but like Ridley's film, it would have been without the Hendrix estate's cooperation. Now, reportedly, a deal has been struck, and the two parties will set out to produce the definitive cinematic portrait of the rock icon.
With estate cooperation comes permission to use all the classics: “Purple Haze,” “Voodoo Chile,” “Foxy Lady,” etc. And perhaps they'll be incorporated in interesting, rather than “greatest hits” ways. After all, “8 Mile” screenwriter Scott Silver has been tapped to pen the project. (The original incarnation stemmed from a script written by “Godzilla” scribe Max Borenstein on spec.)
Four years ago Anthony Mackie was being considered for the lead. Will those conversations pick up where they left off? Or is Mackie locked into Marvel world? We'll find out in due time.
Then again, deal in place or not, how guaranteed is the project? “Memphis” was a good example of Greengrass finally getting a difficult estate (Martin Luther King Jr.'s) to agree to terms, and then…
More on this one as it comes together.