Los Angeles–based production company Jupiter Rising Film announced that Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def, would portray the late jazz legend Thelonious Monk in a biopic film. Shortly after announcing the exciting news, Thelonious Monk’s estate revealed that the film is unauthorized. T.S. Monk, Thelonious Monk’s son and the chairman and co-founder of Rhythm-A-Ning Entertainment, the official company of the Thelonious Monk Estate spoke to Pitchfork about it.
“This project and its announcement are totally unauthorized! I hate the script and I control the music in Thelonious’ catalog,” Monk wrote in an email. “There is no involvement by anyone in the Monk family with this project, and we actually condemn the effort.”
Bey then responded to the statement in a video via Instagram, saying “Let me be clear, if the Monk Estate is not happy with it, if Mr. Monk III is not happy with it, then neither am I. 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.”
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The co-founders of Jupiter Rising Film also said that production on the movie, titled Thelonious, would have begun in summer 2022. Both co-founders Peter Lord Moreland and Alberto Marzan have yet to respond to both statements.
The rappers latest venture is his podcast called The Midnight Miracle, co-hosted by Bey, Dave Chappelle and Talib Kweli.