Exclusive: Story of CBGBs, Hilly Kristal, Birth of Punk Rock To Be Made Into Film
Exclusive: Story of CBGBs, Hilly Kristal, Birth of Punk Rock To Be Made Into Film

Alan Rickman has signed on to play the legendary owner and founder of CBGB in Randall Miller and Jody Savin's project revolving around the seminal New York rock club.

Miller will direct the picture from a script he and Savin wrote together. They hope to begin shooting in June.

CBGB Music Festival & Conference Coming to NYC

Billboard.biz first reported the biopic, based on the life of CBGBs founder Hilly Kristal, last May.

Rickman will play Kristal, who in the late 1970s sought to create a venue for country, bluegrass and blues music (the "CBGB" of the name) in New York City. But after acts playing that music were tough to find, Kristal allowed local performers to play. That decision was precipitous, as the club soon became ground zero for rock & roll as well as punk, launching the careers of performers such as The Ramones, Blondie and Patti Smith.

Miller and Savin's Unclaimed Freight Productions will produce. Former senior vp of Warner-Chappell Music-turned-producer Brad Rosenberger will also produce.

Kristal's daughter who controls the estate, Lisa Kristal Burgman, is on board as a co-producer of the film.

CBGB's to Return...With a Music Festival

The two parties were set to film The Drummer, a Dennis Wilson biopic starring Aaron Eckhart, as soon as this summer. But due to scheduling that project has been pushed to the fall, which allowed Miller and Slavin to slot CBGB for production instead.

Rickman (WME, Independent Talent Group) last appeared in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2 and has the art heist thriller Gambit with Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz in the can.

A representative for CBGBs declined to comment when reached by Billboard.biz.