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Alan Rickman to Star in CBGB Founder Biopic

Alan Rickman
Danny Martindale/Getty Images

The British thesp is set to play Hilly Kristal in a chronicle of the iconic New York music venue to be directed by Randall Miller from a script he wrote with Jody Savin.

Alan Rickman has signed on to play the legendary owner and founder of CBGB in Randall Miller and Jody Savin’s project revolving the seminal New York rock club.

Miller will direct the picture from a script he and Savin wrote together. They hope to begin shooting in June.

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Rickman will play Hilly Kristal, who in the late 1970s sought to create a venue for county, bluegrass and blues music (the "CBGB" of the name) in New York City. But after acts playing that music were tough to find, Kristal allowed local performers to play. That decision was precipitous, as the club soon became ground zero for rock & roll as well as punk, launching the careers of performers such as The Ramones, Blondie and Patti Smith

Miller and Savin’s Unclaimed Freight Productions will produce. Former senior vp of Warner-Chappell Music-turned-producer Brad Rosenberger will also produce.

Kristal’s daughter who controls the estate, Lisa Kristal Burgman, is on board as a co-producer of the film.

The two parties were set to film The Drummer, a Dennis Wilson biopic starring Aaron Eckhart, as soon as this summer. But due to scheduling that project has been pushed to the fall, which allowed Miller and Slavin to slot CBGB for production instead.

Rickman (WME, Independent Talent Group) last appeared in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2 and has the art heist thriller Gambit with Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz in the can.