EXCLUSIVE: Jimi Hendrix has become an ICM Partners client. The agency has signed Experience Hendrix LLC, the family-owned enterprise that controls the songs and rights of the legendary late guitar player. The agency’s first order of business: to amplify its client’s efforts to produce a feature film chronicling Hendrix’s life story. The film will be the very first to be authorized by and have the full cooperation of Experience Hendrix — and believe me, many actors and film companies will covet that opportunity. The company was founded by the guitarist’s father James “Al” Hendrix and now is helmed by Janie Hendrix, President and CEO and the sister of the guitar great, who died in 1970 after recording just four albums that were enough to make him arguably the greatest rocker to plug a guitar into an amp.
I’ve written numerous times over the years about attempts by the likes of Eddie Murphy and Will Smith to play Hendrix, and most recently Legendary Pictures’ Thomas Tull, who financed the rock docu It Might Get Loud, commissioned Max Borenstein to write a script, and he and producer Billy Gerber had Anthony Mackie ready to string up the Fender Stratocaster and Paul Greengrass ready to direct him. They dropped the effort when the estate refused to authorize the film and license rights to Hendrix’s signature tunes. OutKast’s Andre 3000 also sparked to playing Hendrix, and when the estate didn’t waver, he and Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave scribe John Ridley made All Is By My Side anyway. The film, about Hendrix’s formative years, does not feature any songs controlled by the estate. It’s playing at SXSW. (more…)