For the past decade, Anthony Mackie has been quietly working hard in supporting roles that have steadily grown in size, within increasingly more prestigious projects. He appeared in no less than six films released in 2013 – including The Fifth Estate, Runner Runner and Gangster Squad – and has kicked off 2014 with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Things are about to go very loud, very fast, for the talented young actor, however, as he takes the lead role in Jimi.
Originally titled Crosstown Traffic, the film was firmly on the slate of Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips) until problems arose regarding approval from the Hendrix estate. Such approval is vital to the authenticity of projects such as these, as the use of the artist’s back catalogue hangs in the balance. A rival Hendrix project – John Ridley’s All By My Side, starring Andre 3000 – seems to be proceeding without that all-important approval, which may leave them without the music of the great man himself. Those approval issues have apparently now been resolved for Jimi, and it is full steam ahead for the production, which – in its original form at least – intends to focus on the final nine days of Hendrix’s short life.
With Greengrass having exited the project, the screenwriter, Ol Parker, will now take the helm. He made his debut in 2005 with his self-scripted, self-directed film Imagine Me And You, followed by Now Is Good – an adaptation of the Jenny Downham novel, Before I Die. Jimi will be Parker’s highest profile film to date, and has apparently always had Mackie attached to the lead role. He will be joined in the cast by Thandie Newton, with Noomi Rapace in talks for the role of Hendrix’s girlfriend, Kathy Etchingham.
All in all, Jimi is shaping up to be a film that warrants immediate labelling as ‘One To Watch For’ – which is exactly what we will be doing as it speeds toward a shooting schedule. With Mackie’s involvement having been announced at Cannes 2014, we can almost certainly expect to hear more casting news soon.
Source: Screen Rant