Casting biopics can be tricky because you want the actor portraying the person to not only capture their mannerisms but, if you're lucky, at least MILDLY resemble their character. We all remember what happened when a movie studio was convinced that Zoe Saldana could play Nina Simone.
Even with prosthetics, it was a hard reach and, to this day, Saldana regrets taking the role. "I should have tried everything in my power to cast a Black woman to play an exceptionally perfect Black woman," she said. We were thinking that Michaela Coel, from "I May Destroy You" and "Chewing Gum", would have been a much better fit.
After the "Nina" debacle, movie studios have been taking their casting a little more seriously in the looks department. Any great actor can capture the mannerisms of a person, if they work hard enough, but some parts people are just BORN to play. Wendell Pierce, was born to play the legendary B.B. King!
Pierce announced last night, via Twitter, that he will be playing the legendary blues guitarist in an upcoming biopic.
Pierce says that he promised King before he passed away in 2015 that he would "honor him and his creative genius".
The biopic, titled The Thrill Is On, will be centered on B.B. King's friendship with musician Michael Zanetis. The script will be will be written by Zanetis and Melora Donoghue. Right now, the film is in preproduction and, probably because of COVID-19, we don't have any details on when we can expect the film.
Pierce first came to our attention playing the lovable and laughable, Michael from the 1995 film "Waiting to Exhale" but he's also made his mark on "The Wire" as Det. William 'Bunk' Moreland, the 2014 film "Selma" and the television series "Chicago PD". Pierce is also a humanitarian. In 2015 Pierce built 75 houses in hurricane ravaged New Orleans.
B.B., born Riley B., King won 18 Grammy Awards throughout his career and was known as The King of Blues.
We can't wait to see this film!