All Is By My Side is, supposedly, the Jimi Hendrix biopic we’ve been waiting for. The film has been in production for seven years, ever since director John Ridley heard a rare demo of “Sending My Love to Linda.” But the film’s production has been hampered by an all-too-familiar obstruction: the deceased’s estate.
Experience Hendrix LLC, run by Jimi’s sister Janie, isn’t taking part in All Is By My Side, and All Is By My Side will be a Hendrix biopic without any original Hendrix music as a result. Luckily, the film’s producers are blessed with a different once-in-a-generation artist at the helm. André 3000, rapper turned actor, is making his big debut as a leading man. The Outkast frontman has been very involved with soundtracking the picture.
The soundtrack will be comprised of covers Hendrix performed rather than his original work. That includes some Beatles (“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”) and Muddy Waters (“Mannish Boy”). All Is By My Side focuses on Hendrix in the mid-60s, when he was a backup guitarist being lured to London and eventual stardom.
The Hendrix family was never even approached about using Jimi’s music—not that they would have allowed it. Janie is actually a step-sister, not biologically related to Jimi Hendrix. They’ve refused rights before, most famously to director Paul Greengrass . But the filmmakers have attempted to sidestep the issue entirely by contextualizing the film around Jimi’s days before stardom.
Charles Cross is the author of the Hendrix biography Room Full of Mirrors. He’s tangled with the Hendrix estate before, but he can’t help feeling a little suspicious of the upcoming film. “Suffice to say, don’t believe most of what’s in the film,” Cross said. “The fact that they never even approached the estate means the filmmakers aren’t interested in what actually happened.”