“I promised BB King before he died, I will honor him and his creative genius. Wendell Pierce wrote as he is set to play King. Pierce, who is arguably best known for his performance as Bunk Moreland on The Wire, has starred in Treme, Jack Ryan, Suits, and more. V A new biopic about blues legend B.B. King is in the works. It’s called The Thrill Is On and its star has been announced.
The biopic, titled The Thrill Is On, will be centered on B.B. King’s friendship with musician Michael Zanetis. The script will be written by Zanetis and Melora Donoghue. Pierce has been a fixture for decades on television, film, and the stage, and some fans are already hoping The Thrill Is On will finally earn the actor major awards attention, as Ray did for Jamie Foxx (coincidentally, Pierce also appeared in the biopic).
King, who died in 2015 at age 89, has remained one of the most influential and respected blues musicians of all time. With a recording career spanning nearly six decades, King released over 40 studio albums and 16 live albums, won 15 Grammys and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
Pierce has a challenge ahead of him, although music has long been a part of his career. To portray a trombonist in Treme, he learned to play the instrument. He also hosted a weekly jazz radio show and in 2009, he became the host of the Peabody Award-winning radio program, Jazz at Lincoln Center. In past years, Pierce has also appeared on jazz albums and recorded with acclaimed musicians such as Wynton Marsalis and Kermit Ruffins.
A tweet by actor Jimmi Simpson shows how excited and excited fans are. He said, “An icon playing an icon. I can’t to watch you and BB shine together, my friend. Sending so much love to you and this production,”