It's official: John Ridley will direct a bio-film about the late Jimi Hendrix, who'll be played on screen by the musician Andre Benjamin, better known as OutKast's Andre 3000. Ridley also has written the original screenplay for the project, titled "All Is By My Side." Haley Atwell and Imogen Poots will appear in co-starring roles.
Darko Entertainment, Subotica Entertaiment and Matador Pictures will produce the film, which Darko is financing. Producing are Darko's Sean McKittrick and Jeff Culotta, Danny Bramson, Subotica's Tristan Orphen Lynch and Matador's Nigel Thomas. Ridley and Tedd Hamm will serve as exec producers on the project, scheduled to begin production on location in Ireland later this month. In announcing "Side," the producers said it will be based on actual interviews with Hendrix as well as archival materials.
However on Thursday (May 10), Experience Hendrix, LLC issued a statement on the prospective film that indicated it would not include the musician's classic recordings.
"Various media outlets have recently published accounts that indicate a feature length Jimi Hendrix biographical film is nearing production," reads the statement. "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."
Hendrix's estate did not definitively close the door on its involvement in a biopic, starring Andre 3000 or another actor. "Experience Hendrix CEO Janie Hendrix, sister of Jimi Hendrix, and the EH board have not ruled out a "biopic" in the future," continues the statement, "though producing partners would, out of necessity, have to involve the company from the inception of any such film project if it is to include original Jimi Hendrix music or compositions."