Indiewire reports out of the Cannes Film Festival that Anthony Mackie is set to headline Jimi, a Jimi Hendrix biopic that will focus on the last nine days of the music icon’s life. Thandie Newton will co-star in an unspecified role, and Noomi Rapace is in negotiations to portray Hendrix’s girlfriend Kathy Etchingham.
The drama was written and will be directed by English filmmaker Ol Parker, who is best known for writing the screenplay for the winsome adaptation The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Parker made his directorial debut back in 2005 with the R-rated romantic comedy Imagine Me & You, which centered on the unexpected love that blossoms between a married (heterosexual) woman and a female friend. He followed this up in 2012 with the earnest romantic drama Now is Good, which starred Dakota Fanning as a leukemia-stricken girl who experiences first love with a dreamy boy played by Jeremy Irvine.
This project first surfaced four years ago as Crosstown Traffic. While Mackie was attached even then, Paul Greengrass of Captain Phillips acclaim was initially lined up to helm. However, the project ran into problems when the keepers of Hendrix’s estate took issue with the screenplay’s representation of the widely celebrated guitarist. Greengrass moved on, and Parker stepped up. These issues have since been resolved, and Jimi is expected to shoot in short order.