Jimi Hendrix's estate has reached an agreement with Legendary Pictures for an official biopic of the late rock legend. Director Paul Greengrass (United 93, Captain Phillips) is in talks to helm the project, based on a script from Scott Silver (8 Mile) and featuring actual Hendrix recordings, Deadline reports.
Greengrass and Legendary's Thomas Tull approached Experience Hendrix four years ago, touting a script from Max Borenstein, but they were unable to come to an agreement as the estate worried a film could hurt sales from the guitar god's catalog. The filmmakers, who had approached Anthony Mackie to star as Hendrix, halted work on the project.
That vacancy created a window for John Ridley's (12 Years a Slave) unauthorized biopic Jimi: All Is By My Side, which starred actor-musician (and former Outkast member) Andre Benjamin as the title character. Ridley focused on Hendrix's pre-stardom career, a clever way of navigating around the lack of actual album recordings. But that lack of authenticity could have hurt the project, which grossed a disappointing domestic total of $323,000.
Having access to the Hendrix discography gives the new, as-yet-untitled biopic a definite advantage. Numerous posthumous compilations excluded, Hendrix only recorded four albums – three studio LPs with the Jimi Hendrix Experience and one live set with Band of Gypsys – before his tragic death at age 27 in 1970. He's still regarded as one of the greatest guitarists to ever play the instrument, topping most critical polls (including Rolling Stone's 2011 list).