A problem that often plagues biopics: if you can get past the hurdles that are the concerns of family members of the subject that the film won't emphasize all their vices, you still might have rights issues to deal with – especially when we're talking musicians… like Jimi Hendrix.
That Andre 3000 Jimi Hendrix project that many of you have been excited about (based on the number of Facebook *likes* and *shares* of that specific post) since we announced it a few days ago, may not quite be a "go" after all, if the below statement released by reps for Jimi Hendrix's estate – Experience Hendrix, LLC.
First, a quick recap… IFTN reported exclusively on Monday that the rapper/actor is indeed set to star as Jimi Hendrix in a new movie that will begin filming in Ireland later this month, to be titled All Is By My Side, which will follow Hendrix’s years in England, from 1966 to 1967, when he put together his debut album, Are You Experienced.
The feature film will be written and directed by John Ridley (primarily a screenwriter; this will be his second feature film directorial effort).
The project is said to currently be in pre-production in Wicklow, with principal photography set to begin in three weeks time in Dublin and Wicklow. The shoot will last six weeks in total.
But maybe not-so-fast?
Earlier today, representatives of Jimi Hendrix's estate weighed in on plans for Andre 3000's upcoming biopic of the guitar legend, accusing the filmmakers of moving forward with the project without their official permission, specifically, that the producers do not have the right to use any of the musician's songs.
Experience Hendrix, LLC released the following statement to the press this morning, reads:
"Various media outlets have recently published accounts that indicate a feature-length Jimi Hendrix biographical film is nearing production. Experience Hendrix, LLC, the family-owned company entrusted with safeguarding the legacy of Jimi Hendrix and administrator of the Jimi Hendrix music and publishing catalogue, 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. "Experience Hendrix CEO Janie Hendrix, sister of Jimi Hendrix, and the EH board have not ruled out a 'biopic' in the future 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."
Once again… oops?
Or does the Andre 3000 project not plan on using any of Hendrix's music? Although I don't see how that would happen, given that the film's focus will center on the making of Hendrix's first album, so it kinda has to include some of his music, doesn't it?
No response from Andre 3000, Ridley, or the film's producers… yet.
But I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is likely the beginning of another long legal journey for yet another biopic project… but let's see what happens in the next few days, when I assume we'll hear the other side of the story.