Yasiin Bey has revealed that he has revoked his casting as Thelonious Monk in a forthcoming biopic after the news that his family claimed the project was unauthorised.
Yesterday, the family of jazz legend Thelonious Monk issued a statement declaring that the forthcoming biopic of his life is unauthorised and that at no point were they contacted.
This news followed the 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. Having heard the testimony of Monk’s estate, Bey has now reversed his decision.
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.”
After hearing this news, Bey released a statement of his own, saying: “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 – just as important as the music, if not more important, that the family supported the project. I took them at their word, and clearly, that wasn’t the case.”
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.”