B.B. King Biopic Finds Its Star

B.B. King performs in 1989.
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Steven Siewert/Fairfax Media via Getty Images

An in-development B.B. King biopic has found its star. Actor Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Treme, Jack Ryan) announced yesterday (Oct. 20, 2020) that he is in pre-production on The Thrill is On, in which he will portray the legendary blues singer/guitarist.

Pierce said he was "humbled" in a series of tweets confirming the news. "I promised BB King before he died, I will honor him and his creative genius," he wrote. "An American Icon."


A director or writer for The Thrill is On has not been confirmed.

Beyond the physical resemblance, Pierce has spent the last few years collaborating with musicians from his native New Orleans, having logged studio time with jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and his brother Delfayeo.

In a career that lasted more than seven decades, B.B. King's style of electric blues guitar had a profound impact on generations of players. He was inducted into the very first class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and won more than a dozen Grammy Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

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