All By My Side - Jimi Hendrix
This Jimi Hendrix biopic aims to tell the guitar hero’s tale without any of his music. All By My Side will take place before Hendrix’s ascent to fame in the late ’60s in London, right before his groundbreaking album Are You Experienced was released. Andre Benjamin, aka Andre 3000, half of the hip-hop outfit Outkast, will be playing the lead role, reportedly training for the role with daily six-hour guitar sessions. Although we won’t hear Andre sing any Hendrix tunes, he will perform covers of The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Wild Thing,” “Hound Dog” and others in the film.
Get on Up – James Brown
Chadwick Boseman seems to be tackling the role of pioneer lately, first as slugger Jackie Robinson in 42 and now as the Godfather of Soul, James Brown in Get On Up. Featuring Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Jill Scott, the Mick Jagger-produced film will tackle the turbulent trail Brown blazed over the course of his career. Boseman reportedly took six weeks of dance lessons for the role, and you can bet he’ll be doing Brown’s iconic splits.
Aaliyah: Princess of R&B
Plans to tell the story of R&B’s princess Aaliyah, whose life was tragically cut short at 22 in a plane crash, were put on hold, but are now back on. Originally, the Lifetime movie was slated to star Disney Channel’s Zendaya Coleman, but the starlet left the project and has since been replaced by Alexandra Shipp, with Wendy Williams serving as executive producer. In spite of Aaliyah’s family’s opposition to the film, Lifetime announced today that the movie is slated to air on Saturday, November 15.
Nina – Nina Simone
This biopic about jazz singer Nina Simone is also riddled with controversy, ranging from the director Cynthia Mort’s lawsuit about being cut out of major decision making during the film’s production and post-production, to the controversy over casting actress Zoe Saldana that even led to a Change.org petition asking to replace her. The film was screened at Cannes for buyers in May, and as of now its fate is still up in the air.
Jersey Boys – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
Adapted from the smash Broadway hit of the same name, this biopic about the New Jersey boy band was directed by Clint Eastwood and hit theaters last month.
Photo: E! Online
The picture has yet to be titled, but this Lifetime movie certainly has less drama than the network’s other project, although Houston’s family has expressed opposition to the film. Starring former America’s Next Top Model contestant Yaya DaCosta as the late songstress (with singing parts performed by R&B singer Deborah Cox), the project will be directed by actress Angela Bassett, who was last seen terrifying viewers on American Horror Story.
Straight Outta Compton– NWA
The rap group, often accredited with revolutionizing the genre, will get its spot on the silver screen in the biopic named for its debut album. Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and the widow of Eazy-E have been granted veto power when it comes to the script and approved casting choices, including Ice Cube’s 23-year-old son, O’Sea Jackson Jr., who will play his father.
I Saw The Light – Hank Williams
Known for his role as Loki in The Avengers and Thor, Tom Hiddleston will be singing a different tune in the upcoming biopic I Saw The Light. The actor will play country singer Hank Williams and will be lending his voice for the part. The film secured rights to some of Williams’ most notable songs, so the Londoner can be caught singing “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” among other country classics.
By Alexa Girkout