Published Dec 12, 2013Am unfortunate series of setbacks have put the brakes on The Drummer, the long-in-the-works biopic on late Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson, with the production now on indefinite hiatus.
The last we heard on the project, actor Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight, Thank You for Smoking) had signed on to portray Wilson in the film, which was to chronicle the last six years of his life up to his drowning death in 1983. While the thespian reportedly spent six months learning how to sing and play drums for the role, he pulled out of the project due to exhaustion from shooting I, Frankenstein in Australia before cameras were set to roll in the summer of 2012.
"It was a huge blow for us when Eckhart pulled out," music supervisor Brad Rosenberger told the Hollywood Reporter.
Now, a spokesperson for Wilson's family has weighed in on the biopic, hinting that the film has been derailed.
"The Dennis Wilson Trust can confirm that there is no plan for proceeding with the Drummer project," trust representative Shelley Surpin told Billboard.
Adding to the film's troubles, distribution company W2 Media has backed off on its plans to support The Drummer, instead putting their focus on the upcoming Midnight Rider: The Gregg Allman Story.
The Beach Boy's son Carl and daughter Jennifer had previously signed on as producers in 2011, but concerns over the direction of Jody Savin's script had apparently delayed the project. Sources close to the project have hinted that it's a positive portrayal of the troubled musician, though, skipping over an infamous association with Charles Manson in the late '60s to instead highlight the time he spent from 1977 onwards. This includes the creation of Wilson's cult solo LP Pacific Ocean Blue.
"Dennis was a pained and tortured soul, yet brilliant and loved dearly by so many who knew him," director Randall Miller had stated back in 2010. "This film has the makings of a tour-de-force performance in the hands of the right actor."
Rosenberger's interview with the Hollywood Reporter adds that while the production appears to be off the table for now, Wilson's children "would love to see a movie honouring their father."
"There are no plans to make this Dennis Wilson movie now, but I don't think it would be accurate to say we don't want a movie to be made," he added.