An official biopic of iconic blues musician B.B. King goes into pre-production in 2021, Vassal Benford, chairman of King’s property, tells Selection. This can be a separate undertaking from “The Thrill Is On,” which is a drama about King’s friendship with drummer Michael Zanetis starring Wendell Pierce as King.
Confusion first arose when “The Wire” and “Selma” actor Pierce introduced that he would play King by way of Twitter on Oct. 19. “We’re official. Preparation has begun on a movie the place I shall be honored to play the good B.B. King,” Pierce wrote. This led many to imagine he could be enjoying King in a biopic retelling the late singer-guitarist’s life story.
Pierce expanded on the scenario on Oct. 22, writing: “The Estate of B.B. King has requested I make clear the movie ‘The Thrill Is On’ isn’t a biopic within the conventional sense. It’s a dramatized model of a real-life friendship story within the spirit of the movie ‘Spherical Midnight.’”
The Estate of BB King has requested I make clear the movie THE THRILL IS ON isn’t a biopic within the conventional sense. It’s a dramatized model of a real-life friendship story within the spirit of the movie ROUND MIDNIGHT. The friendship of two musicians, one being the King of the Blues. pic.twitter.com/d5eMQz5m9c
— Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) October 22, 2020
B.B. King’s property has clarified that there are two separate tasks within the works regarding King — “The Thrill Is On,” which isn’t related to the property, and an upcoming biopic of King’s life, which is being produced by the property. Although Benford says King’s property has thought-about Pierce to play King within the biopic, they’re plenty of different actors for the position, together with “Saturday Night time Stay” star Kenan Thompson. A significant director can be in talks to helm the upcoming biopic, in response to the property.
A consultant for Pierce confirmed that “The Thrill Is On” isn’t a biopic, as did Zanetis.
“I’m not certified to put in writing a biopic of Mr. King’s life, however this decade of his life is a chapter I lived with him,” Zanetis informed Selection. “Our friendship flourished till our final go to in 2011.”
Representatives for Thompson didn’t instantly reply to Selection‘s request for remark.
Nonetheless, Benford — who lately executive-produced the brand new movie “After We Collided” — says that the property extremely respects Pierce as an actor and believes that he “unintentionally misspoke” in a manner that seemed he was starring in a biopic of King. Although “The Thrill Is On” isn’t related to or produced by King’s property, Benford says that the property doesn’t disapprove of the movie.
“We need to be crystal clear that the movie introduced by Pierce isn’t a biopic, as there are a number of main gamers concerned within the new B.B. King biopic and the property doesn’t need there to be any confusion as to the character of every separate undertaking,” Benford tells Selection. “One is a docudrama, and the opposite is the official B.B. King biopic authorized by company administration of the B.B. King property and belief as part of B.B. King’s legacy initiative.”
In a press release beforehand launched by representatives for “The Thrill Is On,” the undertaking is described to be a “friendship movie.” The film tells “the inspiring true story of how an opportunity assembly between Zanetis, a younger musician, and B.B. King in 1980 led to King being the primary blues artist to obtain a star on the Hollywood Stroll of Fame in 1990,” in response to the assertion.
Pierce has been hooked up to star within the movie produced and co-written by Zanetis since 2009, however the movie — then titled “B.B. King and I” — bumped into authorized hassle in 2012 when Zanetis sued King after receiving a cease-and-desist order from King’s representatives. Nonetheless, each Pierce and Zanetis have mentioned that King gave them his blessing to make the movie earlier than his demise in 2015.