Jupiter Rising Film announced today that Yasiin Bey, formerly known by his stage name Mos Def, has signed on to star as Thelonious Monk in the new theatrical biopic, Thelonious.
The film will revolve around Monk’s struggle to achieve musical success, mental illness and the spiritual love triangle between Monk, his wife Nellie and one of the richest women in the world, Nica Rothschild .
“Spherical monk Thelonious. A leader. One God. A shape in space,” Bey said of her role.
“A man who belongs to a religious community, lives a simple life, away from society. Adjectives. can never be a noun. Love. is a verb. The future has already happened. And Forever is a current event. Jupiter and team.”
This is Bey’s first role since 2016. His previous film and TV credits include Be Kind Rewind, A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 16 Blocks and Dexter.
Alberto Marzan, producer and co-founder of Jupiter Rising, said: “This role requires unique depth and understanding of who and what Thelonious Monk was and what his lasting impact may still be heard in today’s music world.
“The moment I met Yasiin, I knew we had found our Thelonious. It’s an honor to be the first to tell this important story in an epic way because it’s never been told before, we’re pushing through this story. It is a luxury to be the team telling this important story.”
Producer and screenwriter Thelonious Peter Lord Moreland said: “I am delighted that Yasiin has signed up to play the Monk, his artistic meter, approach and so many other intangibles are perfect to bring Thelonious to life.”
The story of “Thelonious” needs to be told. Having spent most of my life as a musician, record producer and composer, I feel truly connected to him. We even went to the same Stuyvesant High School in New York City.”
Production on Thelonious Expected to begin Summer 2022.