Thelonious Monk biopic starring Yasiin Bey on the way
Jupiter Rising Film have revealed plans for a biopic on jazz legend Thelonious Monk called Thelonious, with rapper Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def) starring in the titular role. Producers Lord Moreland and Alberto Marzan tell Rolling Stone that the film will center around Thelonious' "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."
"It’s the story that today’s world needs," Marzan added. "This is not a simple story about a black jazz pianist that gets fame, does drugs, and dies. They will understand the genius Thelonious was and how the world changed after him for good."
"We all envisioned him," Marzan said of the decision to have Yasiin Bey play Thelonious. "This needed to be somebody that understood Thelonious’ music on an intimate level. It needed to be someone who understood the life and challenges of being a musician, a black man in this universe. Yasiin has Thelonious’ morals and focus on what matters."
Speaking to Rolling Stone over email about his thoughts on Thelonious, Yasiin Bey said, "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."
Production is set to begin in summer 2022. Read more at Rolling Stone and stay tuned for more on the film.
Last year, a lost live Thelonious Monk album from 1968, Palo Alto, was released. Watch a mini documentary of the album below.