The much-discussed yet long-delayed Jimi Hendrix biopic looks to be finally moving forward with a credible star attached: none other than Outkast’s Andre Benjamin.
According to a report from the Irish Film and Television Network published on Monday (May 7), the Outkast rapper has been tapped to play the legendary ax man in an upcoming biopic titled “All Is by My Side.” Set during Hendrix’s time in England between 1966 and 1967, the film follows the icon as he began work on his debut, Are You Experienced, an album widely regarded by critics to feature some of the greatest guitar music ever created.
The feature film will be written and directed by John Ridley, whose previous work includes the screenplays for “Red Tails” and “U-Turn,” as well as story credit on David O. Russell’s “Three Kings.”
Although he’s more well-known for his contributions to music as part of the Grammy-winning hip-hop duo, Benjamin (a.k.a. Andre 3000) has had roles in several movies, including “Semi-Pro,” “Idlewild” and “Four Brothers,” and appeared on the FX TV series “The Shield.”
“Considering his just-passable acting in ‘Idlewild,’ the jury’s still out on whether Andre can carry a movie on his own,” offered MTV News senior writer Gil Kaufman. “But given his virtual retirement from music since that movie’s release — ‘Semi-Pro’ was a small step in the right direction — and word that he’s been taking acting lessons, the Hendrix movie could do for him what ‘Dreamgirls’ did for Jennifer Hudson.
“Andre has the musical chops, the artistic sensibility and a devotion to his craft that makes me think he wouldn’t take on this iconic role without knowing that he had something deep to offer,” Kaufman continued. “Plus, as he’s proven over and over with his many note-perfect, bulls-eye features on songs since he stopped recording his own albums, when he shoots, he shoots to kill.”
MTV News reached out to Benjamin’s representatives about the report but had not received comment at press time.
“All Is by My Side,” not to be confused with Legendary Pictures’ onetime plans to make a Hendrix biopic, is reportedly in pre-production with principal photography set to begin in three weeks in Dublin and Wicklow.
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