Anthony Mackie to play Jimi Hendrix opposite Noomi Rapace and Thandie Newton
Outkast rapper Andre Benjamin may be starring in the first big screen biopic of Jimi Hendrix, but there is another one brewing with a pretty kick-ass lead. Reports out of the Cannes Film Festival have CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER co-star Anthony Mackie taking the lead in JIMI, a film written and directed by Ol Parker.
The biopic has been in development for some time and was previously going to be directed by Paul Greengrass. Issues with rights to music from the Hendrix estate led to the delay and departure of Greengrass. The Andre Benjamin film, ALL IS BY MY SIDE, did not secure rights to any Hendrix music. That film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year and focused on Hendrix's rise to fame and glory. JIMI will instead focus on the final nine days of the guitarist's life.
Director Parker has also secured two female co-stars for Mackie. Parker's wife Thandie Newton will appear in the film and negotiations are underway to cast Noomi Rapace as Kathy Etchingham, Hendrix's girlfriend. That role was played by Hayley Atwell in ALL IS BY MY SIDE.
There is no release date for JIMI but filming is expected to get underway shortly. Unlike competing biopics in the past, these two films could actually compliment each other as they do not focus on the same era in Hendrix's life. I am looking forward to seeing which actor will do a better job of playing "All Along The Watchtower".