The biggest roadblock to getting a biopic about a musician made is clearing the rights to the (usually expensive) songs and pleasing the estate. If the artist in question is still alive, the process can be made slightly easier, but if not, projects can drag in develop as everyone involved tries to find common ground to meet on financially and creatively. Which leads us to “All Is By My Side,” the long, long brewing Jimi Hendrix pic with Andre 3000 in the lead that, out of nowhere, was announced earlier this week as gearing up to start shooting in a matter of weeks. We wondered if this might mean Experience Hendrix were on board with the movie too — turns out, they’re not.
In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, the company says it “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.” We presume lawsuits are just waiting to happen, so it’ll be interesting to see how the filmmakers behind “All By My Side” get around the issue. We presume cover versions will be used — as was done in the 2000 TV movie “Hendrix” — but it even seems that Experience Hendrix might throw down the gauntlet if that happens, depending on how they view the term “copyrights.”
But regardless, the pic is soldiering on, a just-sent press release reports that Haywell Atwell — who talked about the film as early as last summer — is confirmed, with Imogen Poots (“Fright Night,” “Solitary Man“) also coming on board. Penned by John Ridley (“Three Kings,” “U-Turn“) who will be directing as well, the film will essentially cover Hendrix’s breakthrough period from 1966 to 1967. He was discovered in a New York club by Linda Keith, a model and the girlfriend of Keith Richards at the time, who introduced him to The Rolling Stones’ manager Andrew Loog Oldham and producer Seymour Stein (who both declined to work with him), and eventually to manager/producer Chas Chandler who helped launch his career. He went to London, recorded Are You Experienced? and made music history.
Production kicks off later this month.