They were both legendary entertainers unlike the world will ever see again. They broke boundaries, crossed over to white audiences, and met tragic ends they didn't deserve. Now, Jimi Hendrix and Sammy Davis Jr. have another thing in common: Hollywood won't be paying tribute to them anytime soon.
For years now, OutKast mastermind/movie star Andre "3000" Benjamin has been flirting with the notion of going all "Walk the Line" with a biopic. First, there was a project about the pyrotechnic guitar slinger, reportedly killed because Hendrix's family wouldn't grant the rights to his music. Then came "Sammy and Kim," a film that would have cast him as the tap-dancing Rat Packer.
"The Sammy Davis Jr. movie, I think, is in re-writes right now," he said of the flick, sounding like he's parting ways with the project. "That wasn’t, like, a done deal."
"It was announced, I think, that the director and the producers wanted me to play Sammy Davis," he explained. "And I’d be honored to do it."
But after the failure of such recent biographical flicks as "Control," "Miss Potter," "Becoming Jane" and even the spoof "Walk Hard," the genre isn't what it was during its "Ray" heyday - as evidenced by Josh Hartnett's recent revelation that his Chet Baker biopic has similarly died a premature death.
"The funny thing with the biopics [is their uncertainty], I mean, it's the same thing with 'Hendrix'," sighed Andre, who is instead making movies like this month's Will Ferrell basketball comedy "Semi-Pro". "It's kinda like, until you are on set doing it you can't say what's going on, because everybody wants to do the movie, but there are so many things that go into a biopic."
Meanwhile, "Hairspray" star Elijah Kelly continues to insist that his Sammy biopic is moving forward, so don't be surprised if he wins the Candy Man marathon.
What do you think of Andre's various biopic dreams? Would you want to see him as Jimi, Sammy, or none of the above?