Wendell Peirce’s B.B. King Film In Jeopardy

Wendell Pierce

Alberto E. Rodriguez

As previously reported, Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Treme) is set to play B.B. King in a new film about the life of the legendary musician and his long-time business partner Michael Zanetis.

The independent biopic, entitled BB King and I, was written and co-produced by Zanetis and Frank Capra III. The project is now in jeopardy due to legal action by King’s camp. The film has now been put on hold due to King’s claim of trademark and rights of publicity violations. The Hollywood Reporter reports:

“A cease-and-desist letter was sent last July by an attorney claiming to represent King, which claimed that the film and its affiliated website violated trademarks, the anticybersquatting laws, and King’s publicity rights. King’s demands caused a delay in production, clouded the film’s title, and obstructed the producer’s efforts to obtain further investment in the project, according to the lawsuit.”

Producers of the film have filed a lawsuit against King for interfering with their first amendment rights.

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