Photo: Ultimate Classic Rock
Piano Man is an upcoming biopic about legendary musician Billy Joel, produced by Michael Jai White’s Jaigantic Studios, but a representative for Joel has explained that no rights in music, name, likeness or life story would be granted for the movie.
The studio’s representative explained that the story “focuses on the first stage of Mr. Joel’s career; therefore, our music needs are still being determined.”
Variety, who first broke the news, reported that the film written and directed by Adam Ripp (Gambit, Devil’s Whisper) will show the early stages of Joel’s career, starting from his being discovered by Irwin Mazur up to his breakthrough performance in 1972 that caught the attention of Clive Davis.
Jaigantic acquired rights to Mazur’s story, who represented Joel from 1970-1972, a year before Piano Man was released in 1973. Mazur also managed The Hassles, which Joel was briefly a part of as a teenager.
Director Ripp’s father Artie Ripp signed Joel to his first record deal as a solo artist. He also produced Joel’s debut album, Cold Spring Harbor.
“If Billy Joel didn’t have Irwin Mazur, Elizabeth Weber, and Artie Ripp, the world would not have the Piano Man. And who the hell wants to live in a world without the Piano Man. Piano Man will feature some of the very best music Billy Joel performed and recorded from 1966 to 1972,” Ripp told EW.
Joel is considered a legendary artist, with over 160 million records sold worldwide, five Grammy awards, and 23 Grammy nominees. This year, Joel is set for several stadium concerns and appearances at Madison Square Garden.
White, Mayne Berke, Donovan de Boer, Mazur, and Ripp are set to produce Piano Man, but no other news regarding casting and pre-production has been released.