Fresh off dropping his latest musical effort Negus in Dubai two months ago, Yasiin Bey is back on the scene — but this time stepping into the movie space. According to a report by Variety, Yasiin Bey will be starring as legendary jazz musician Thelonious Monk in the new biopic Thelonious.
Jupiter Rising Film and its co-founders Alberto Marzan and Peter Lord Moreland will help bring Monk’s story to life on the big screen. According to a statement, the film will focus on Monk’s struggles with success, mental illness and the love triangle between his wife Nellie and Nica Rothschild, one of the world’s richest women at the time.
“This role is one that requires great depth and a unique understanding of who and what Thelonious Monk was and how his lasting impact can still be heard throughout the music world today,” Marzan said. “The moment I met Yasiin, I knew we found our Thelonious. It’s an honor to be the first to tell this important story in an epic way.”
Although people are excited about the new film, it may not happen because The Monk estate is not happy. According to an Instagram post from Yasiin Bey on Thursday (July 22), the Monk estate had no involvement, despite the Brooklyn MC being told otherwise.
“If the Monk estate is not happy with it, and Mr. Monk III is not happy with it, then neither am I,” Yasiin said. “To be clear, I was given every indication by the production company that the family was on board which was one of my primary questions.”
Yasiin added, “I took them at their word, and clearly, that wasn’t the case. So again, the Monk estate, Mr. Monk III and all concerned parties, if you are not pleased with it, then neither am I. I can’t lie, I’m super excited still, if there’s an opportunity to tell this type of story but in the right way. Only with the estate’s approval and full involvement and acceptance.”
Yasiin continued to say Monk is one of his favorite artists and shaped him into the creative he is today. He was also upset things have gotten this far, as it’s been some time since he’s starred in a movie as a character other than himself.
Bey last portrayed Eric, a mailman, in 2009’s Next Day Air alongside Omari Hardwick, Lauren London, Mike Epps, Wood Harris and more.