Jimi Hendrix’s estate won’t be able to deny the producers of a new biopic the rights to use the iconic rock guitarist’s music because they aren’t asking for it. Darko Entertainment announced today that Andre 3000 is set to play Hendrix in the movie, titled All Is By My Side. The hip-hop star and actor, whose real name is Andre Benjamin, will portray the musician before he was the superstar Jimi Hendrix we all know. “To the best of our knowledge, this production never approached Experience Hendrix about licensing the music,” a spokesman for the EH estate told Deadline. The Darko film will get around the music by centering on his origins and young life: it will detail Hendrix growing up in Seattle, joining the Army, playing in back-up bands throughout the South and with the Isley Brothers and Little Richard among others. Haley Atwell and Imogen Poots also have been cast. Production is set to start later this month in Ireland. John Ridley will direct based on his own original screenplay. Darko is financing, and Content Film is handling foreign sales.
A 2010 attempt at a Hendrix biopic, to be directed by Paul Greengrass and financed by Legendary Pictures, ended when the estate refused to authorize music rights. Hendrix died in 1970 at age 27.
Benjamin, whose previous film credits include Four Brothers and Idlewild, is repped by WME.
(Andre Benjamin photo: Getty Images)