Filmmakers are planning to make a movie about Billy Joel’s rise to fame, but they’ve hit one major roadblock in the process.
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Billy Joel‘s life is getting the biopic treatment in the upcoming film Piano Man, but there’s one major caveat: The filmmakers can’t use the singer’s music or likeness.
On March 10, Variety reported that Adam Ripp is set to direct a movie about the beloved singer and his two-year partnership with music manager Irwin Mazur. According to the outlet, the Jaigantic Studios film will explore Joel’s time with the short lived band The Hassles and the 1972 performance of the song “Captain Jack” that landed him a deal with Clive Davis’ Columbia Records.
In a statement, Ripp said, “Billy Joel has been a part of my life since my father signed him to his record label when I was 4 years old; his music is ingrained in my DNA and it’s been a dream of mine as a filmmaker to explore and celebrate the untold story of how Billy Joel became the Piano Man.”
But the filmmakers are already facing a major bump in the road, as the singer is not interested in rehashing history. Joel’s rep said in a statement to E! News, “Billy Joel is not involved with this film project. No rights in music, name/likeness or life story will be granted.”
While this would deter most people, Variety reports that Jaigantic Studios has bought the rights to Mazur’s life story. The producers told the outlet that music needs are “yet to be determined.”