News of the much-anticipated scarcely pre-production Jimi Hendrix biopic, scheduled to be released in 2013, is music to the ears. Titled All Is On My Side, this film has been in development for what seems like a bit too long. And it feels a little overdue, doesn’t it? Nevertheless, with John Ridley (Three Kings, U-Turn) in the director’s chair, a production schedule spanning out six weeks, and filming imminently expected to kick off in Ireland, it seems like it’s finally going to happen – a feature length on the greatest guitarist there ever was.
In the past, the difficulty in getting a Hendrix biopic properly underway has always been winning over the guitarist’s estate, Experience Hendrix. A few years back, director Paul Greengrass (The Jason Bourne Series) had a potential Hendrix project on the cards with Anthony Mackie as the lead. But the whole thing came to a screeching halt because the estate didn’t approve. Now, with Ridley’s project set to start filming, one can only imagine that the team have gained approval – or at the very least, pity– from Experience Hendrix.
The film is scripted between the years of 1966 and 1967 – the so-called ‘breakthrough’ period. This was when Jimi was discovered by Linda Keith and taken to London with manager Chas Chandler to work on his soon-to-be historic debut, Are You Experienced? This was an interesting period of time to write about, a very specific time. It was a period of time that revolutionized rock ‘n roll and the album’s value remains unquestionable. It should also be mentioned that as a fragment of the musician’s career, it has been relatively unexplored in comparison to his later years.
The cast hasn’t been completed as of yet, but Andre Benjamin of Outkast is set to play Jimi – a very good choice. Hayley Atwell (Cassandra’s Dream) and Imogen Poots (V for Vendetta) have also been credited thus far. Aside from the casting, there have also been a number of questions with regards to the use of music and the licensing of Hendrix’s music in the film (a factor that pretty much makes or breaks the end result) but again, if filming’s been announced, then a license for the soundtrack can only be hoped for with optimism.
All Is On My Side has been on the horizon for a long time now. When and if it happens, it’s going to be an exciting time for everybody. Until then, keep enjoying the records the man’s left us and wait patiently – it’ll be worth it.