Andre Benjamin to Play Jimi Hendrix in a Film Written and Directed by John Ridley

3:03 PM PST 05/10/2012 by Gregg Kilday
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Haley Atwell and Imogen Poots also set to appear in the project, financed by Darko Entertainment.

It’s official: John Ridley will direct a bio-film about the late Jimi Hendrix, who’ll be played on screen by the musician Andre Benjamin. Ridley also has written the original screenplay for the project, titled All Is By My Side. Haley Atwell and Imogen Poots will appear in co-starring roles.

Darko Entertainment, Subotica Entertaiment and Matador Pictures will produce the film, which Darko is financing. Producing are Darko’s Sean McKittrick and Jeff Culotta, Danny Bramson, Subotica’s Tristan Orphen Lynch and Matador’s Nigel Thomas. Ridley and Tedd Hamm will serve as exec producers on the project, scheduled to begin production on location in Ireland later this month.

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In announcing Side, the producers said it will be based on actual interviews with Hendrix as well as archival materials. But Experience Hendrix LLC, the family-owned company that oversees Hendrix's music and publishing, responded to news reports of the planned film on the official Jimi Hendrix web siteby saying that "no such film, were it to include original music or copyrights created by Jimi Hendrix, can be undertaken without its full participation." If the film is to include any of Hendrix's music, the family maintained "producing partners would, out of necessity, have to involve the company from the inception of any such film project if it is to include original Jimi Hendrix music or compositions."

Benjamin, who made his musical debut as part of the duo OutKast, has appeared in such films as Idlewild, Be Cool and Four Brothers.Atwell’s film credits include Cassandra’s Dream, Brideshead Revisited and  Captain America: The First Avenger. Poots has appeared in 28 Weeks Later, Centurion and Jane Eyre.  

Los Angeles-based Darko Entertainment was launched in late 2007 by McKittrick, Hamm and writer/director Richard Kelly. Its upcoming projects include Hell Baby, marking the co-directorial feature debut of Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant; and Bobcat Goldthwait’s God Bless America, opening May 11 from Magnolia Pictures.

Darko Entertainment is repped by CAA, which also reps Ridley and Poots. Benjamin is repped by WME. Content Film is handling foreign sales on the feature.

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