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(Credit: William P. Gottlieb)

Thelonious Monk’s estate says new biopic is unauthorised

The family of jazz legend Thelonious Monk have issued a statement declaring that the forthcoming biopic of his life is unauthorised and that at no point were they contacted. 

This news follows yesterday’s announcement by the film’s production company, Jupiter Rising Film, that Yasiin Bey, known as hip hop’s Mos Def, would take on the lead role. 

The film entitled Thelonious is not set to go into production until next summer, but already it has been fallen under the condemnation of Monk’s estate.

Pitchfork reached out to T.S. Monk, the son of the pianist legend, and he had this to say: “This project and its announcement are totally unauthorised! I hate the script and I control the music in Thelonious’ catalogue. There is no involvement by anyone in the Monk family with this project, and we actually condemn the effort.”

As far as the film content itself is concerned, the official press release reads: “The film will centre around [Thelonious Monk’s] struggles for musical success, mental illness and the spiritual love triangle between his wife Nellie, and one of the world’s richest women Nica Rothschild.”

The script has been penned by Peter Lord Moreland who will also produce the project alongside Alberto Marzan. Marzan wrote in his own press release: “It’s an honour 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.”

For more info on the life of Thelonious Monk, you can read our profile on the man they called the elephant behind the piano by clicking here

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