It doesn't take a great musician to play a great musician — as Joaquin Phoenix, Angela Bassett or Gary Oldman can tell you — but it probably can't hurt, right?
Such would seem to be the thinking behind "Jimi: All Is by My Side," the upcoming biopic starring Andre Benjamin (a.k.a. André 3000, of Outkast) as the legendary rock musician Jimi Hendrix.
A new trailer for the film (watch it above) offers a glimpse of Benjamin in action, sporting Hendrix's trademark afro and psychedelic threads while capably shredding an electric guitar. With his lanky figure and laid-back confidence, Benjamin certainly looks the part; how Hendrix aficionados respond to his portrayal of the guitar god's lilting speech patterns and other idiosyncratic mannerisms remains to be seen.
Benjamin will be joined on screen by Imogen Poots, Hayley Atwell and Burn Gorman. Oscar-winning scribe John Ridley ("12 Years a Slave") wrote and directed.
Rather curiously for a music biopic, "All Is by My Side" won't actually include any songs written by Hendrix, as the filmmakers neither asked for nor received permission to use his music, according to a Rolling Stone report.
That's because "Jimi" is set in 1966 London, before the release of Hendrix's landmark debut, "Are You Experienced." As such, the film will feature Benjamin's versions of covers Hendrix performed at that time, including songs by the Beatles and Muddy Waters.
"Jimi: All Is by My Side" is scheduled to hit theaters in September from XLrator Media.