Wait..Who’s Playing Hendrix?
We all know André 3000 (or Andre Benjamin) as the zany rapper/vocalist from the group OutKast. Since the band slowed down in the studio, Benjamin has been working on several acting opportunities. With the exception of Semi-Pro, he has done mostly roles in Drama.
Well, what more dramatic of a story to tell than the life, loves and accomplishments of Jimi Hendrix? “All Is By My Side”, a drama telling the story of Jimi Hendrix’s life featuring André Benjamin as Hendrix, is set to release September 2013 according to IMDb.
No Purple Haze? WHAT!?
One unfortunate bit of news is that none of Jimi’s songs will be played in the film. Though the Hendrix estate would not have allowed the producers to use any songs, the producers never intended to ask. The movie is set to tell the story of Hendrix before stardom.
The statement from the Hendrix Estate reads:
[blockquote]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.[/blockquote]
Sean McKittrick, a producer of the movie, told Rolling Stone that telling the story of Jimi’s fame and the songs he wrote after rising to the top would be like telling the story of the late Nirvana and Kurt Cobain saying, “We all know how that story ends.”
Fair enough. Though I think a good movie on Jimi’s full life hasn’t been made yet, I like the direction they’re taking with the movie.
Perhaps the reason a Hendrix movie I like hasn’t been released yet is because the Estate has a history of shooting down requests from movie directors. I can understand the Estate wanting to protect Jimi’s name/image and not letting Hollywood tinker with it.
However, why not just work on one themselves? Why not write the real story, put some time and thought into actors, locations, etc? From there, bring what’s been put together to a producer or director who has made films they like! All Is By My Side does look promising; I like Andre Benjamin as an actor.
André Benjamin talks about what it’s like playing Jimi Hendrix:
In other Hendrix news, his latest release “People, Hell and Angels” was a massive success. Reaching #2 on Billboards this was Hendrix’s highest selling album in over 40 years. It sold over 70,000 units in the week of its release. Did you ever get a chance to check it out? I’ve got the full album streaming for you at that link!