UPDATE 7/22/2021 2:20PM EST: Yasiin Bey has dropped out of playing Thelonious Monk, after the estate of the revered pianist came forward to reveal they had not approved the film.
Yasiin released a statement expressing his disappointment with the unexpected turn of events.
“If the Monk estate is not happy with it, if Mr. Monk III is not happy with it then neither am I. To be clear I was given every indication by the production company that the family was on board. It was one of my primary questions. I took them at that word at their word and clearly that wasn’t the case. I can’t lie I’m super excited still if there’s an opportunity to tell this type of story, but in the right way and only with with the estate’s approval and… full involvement and acceptance so that’s that,” Yasiin Bey said.
Rapper Yasiin Bey snagged a high profile acting role in an upcoming biopic on jazz legend Thelonious Monk.
Thelonious will center around the piano players extraordinary musical ability, his battle with mental health, and the love triangle with his wife, and his patron/lover, Nica Rothschild.
The biopic is being produced by Los Angeles-based production company Jupiter Rising Film.
“Thelonious Sphere Monk. A leader. A Lord. A shape in space. A man from a community of devotion who lives a simple life distant from society. The adjectives. can never be nouns. Love. is a verb. The Future has already happened. And Forever. is a current event. Jupiter and team,” Bey said.
This is not Yasiin’s first time playing a famous musician.
Yasiin has also had high profile roles in movies like “The Italian Job,” Next Day Air,” and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.”
“This role is one that requires great depth and a unique understanding of who and what Thelonious Monk was and how his lasting impact can still be heard throughout the music world today,” explained Jupiter Rising Film co-founder and producer Alberto Marzan.
“The moment I met Yasiin I knew we found our Thelonious. It’s an honor to be the first to tell this important story in an epic way since it’s never been told before, we are swinging for the fences on this one. It’s a luxury to be the team to tell this important story,” Marzan continued.
Production on Thelonious is slated to begin Summer 2022.