08/06/12 - 0 Comments
Trouble Brewing on Jimi Hendrix Set
There seems to be some trouble brewing at the set of the new Jimi Hendrix biopic, All is By My Side. Experience Hendrix, LLC released a statement in early June condoning the project, saying that the estate “has made it known many times in the past that no such film, were it to include original music or copyrights created by Jimi Hendrix, can be undertaken without [the company’s] full participation.” Jimi’s sister, Janie Hendrix, spilled to BET that she would not rule out the possibility of a future biopic, just not this one. So what did director John Ridley do that made the Hendrix estate fume so wildly?
Perhaps he should take a few tips from Peter Newman, the producer of the upcoming Janis Joplin biopic, Joplin. Instead of jumping into the project, Newman patiently waited while remaining in contact with the Joplin estate. He wanted perfection in his film and he waited 12 agonizing years for it to finally pay off—literally. It cost close to $2.5 million just for her musical catalog.
And now not only does Newman get the musical rights for 21 of Joplin’s most endearing songs, but he also gets her life rights, the rights to Love, Janis, a series of letters written by the late rocker, and Piece of My Heart, a book written by ex-Rolling Stone reporter David Dalton, who traveled with Joplin the last six months of her life, which is exactly what the film is recounting.
In the end, Ridley may well regret his mistakes. All is By My Side may have a famous face to help promote the film (namely Andre 3000 of Outkast, who, surprisingly, looks identical to the former rock legend), but most who will pay to see the film will be Hendrix fans (note: Joplin stars Tony winner Nina Arianda from Venus in Fur). And Hendrix fans don’t want to go watch a film with an entire soundtrack of Beatles songs, as that is what they are planning on using. Jimi Hendrix wasn’t known for his lyrical mastering, but instead for his guitaring. Indeed, he is considered one of the world’s greatest guitarists and perhaps this movie is doing little to no justice to convey his greatness.
As for the final outcome, we’ll just have to wait and see. Both Joplin and All is By My Side will be released on the big screen early 2013, and we think the monetary success will be blatantly in favor of Joplin. Sure, Hendrix is more mainstream, but the time and patience Newman and his crew put into obtaining rights and earning respect from the Joplin estate may offer Ridley a rude awakening.
What do you think? Which film will you be going to see?