Coming off the tail of summer blockbuster season, prepare for... The biopic.
In the next few months alone, audiences will get a chance to see everyone from Steve Jobs and Princess Diana to pornstar Linda Lovelace come to life on the big screen. And now, we've got another famous face to add to the list: Jimi Hendrix.
The first official picture from the upcoming Hendrix biopic "All Is By My Side" has appeared online, which shows star André Benjamin (a.k.a. Outkast's André 3000) in full costume with guitar in hand. And we've gotta say — he looks pretty damn good.
Although the film will (finally) be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival this September, it was not without its setbacks. Apparently, the project had been in development — with its star attached — since 2004. Two years later, the movie seemed doomed when London's High Court ruled that the filmmakers didn't have the rights to any of Hendrix's music. However, it appears they've found a way to get around this, as production was well underway last summer in Ireland. (Only eight years later…that's filmmaking for ya).
So how'd they do it? Instead of performing Hendrix's own recordings, André 3000 will cover songs that Hendrix himself covered in the 1960s. Per Variety, "The film is using its cover as an origins story to feature music not written by Hendrix but rather songs by artists including the Beatles, Muddy Waters and Chip Taylor."
In addition to the pic, TIFF has also released an official synopsis for the highly anticipated film: "Jimmy James, an unknown backup guitarist, left New York City for London, England in 1966. A year later he returned — as Jimi Hendrix. 'All Is By My Side' brings authenticity and poignancy to the story of the man behind the legend, and of the people who loved and inspired him." Color us intrigued.
A talented musician whose unique style and charisma have captured millions of fans since Outkast burst onto the music scene in the early 1990s, André 3000 is undoubtedly a great contender to bring Hendrix's personality and story to the big screen. It's a ton of pressure, for sure, but we hope he'll live up to the hype.
"All Is By My Side" is directed by John Ridley and also stars Imogen Poots, Hayley Altwell, and Ruth Negga. It will be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in Sept. 2013.