Andre Benjamin, better known to his fans as Andre 3000, will be taking on a rather iconic role in a new biopic: Jimi Hendrix. Despite the many failed attempts to create Hendrix movies, one has finally been approved by Hendrix’s estate and has given the immense responsibility of playing Jimi Hendrix to Andre 3000.
Hollywood insiders are a bit shocked that the movie was approved by Hendrix’s estate because so many other studios have been denied the chance to create their own biopic about the iconic guitarist. Director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum) is only one of the many who could not continue with his own Hendrix project since the estate did not want to license any of the legend’s songs. Unless the estate suddenly has a change of heart, the upcoming film may not feature any of Hendrix’s original music.
The new biopic, titled All Is by My Side, is set to start filming in three weeks in Ireland, according to the Irish Film and Television Network. The member of OutKast will spend six weeks filming in Bray, Dun Laoghaire and Dublin. One scene will even place Andre 3000 in the historic John Player Cigarette Factory. While Andre 3000 has appeared in such films as the 2006 OutKast musical Idlewild and Guy Ritchie’s Revolver, playing guitar icon, Jimi Hendrix, will certainly be his biggest role yet.
Much of the pressure will land on Three Kings screenwriter John Ridley since he is the first to be able to move forward with a Hendrix project. Ridley will have the responsibility of both directing the film and writing the screenplay. He hopes to capture all the nuances of the crazy life of Hendrix, who was discovered in 1966 by Linda Keith in a New York club. At the time Keith was the girlfriend of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, so she clearly knew guitar-picking prowess when she saw it.
The film is currently in pre-production stage, but all eyes are on Andre, who has also announced he has been working on his first solo album. Andre is aware of how much goes into making a successful biopic. Back in 2008, he told MTV, “… there are so many things that go into a biopic. It’s kinda like, until you are on set doing it you can’t say what’s going on.”