A Billy Joel biopic is in the works which will chart the musician’s early years.
The film, titled Piano Man, is being developed at Michael Jai White’s Jaigantic Studios, with Adam Ripp (Devil’s Whisper) on board to write and direct.
According to Variety, Joel will not be involved and hasn’t granted rights to his music, name/likeness or life story for the project.
The studio however has acquired the life rights to Joel’s first manager Irwin Mazur, who managed the musician from 1965 to 1972. His breakthrough hit ‘Piano Man’, from the album of the same name, was released in 1973.
Artie Ripp, director Adam Ripp’s father, signed Joel to his first solo record deal and produced his debut album ‘Cold Spring Harbor’.
Speaking about the film, Ripp said: “Billy Joel has been a part of my life since my father signed him to his record label when I was four years old; his music is ingrained in my DNA and it’s been a dream of mine as a filmmaker to explore and celebrate the untold story of how Billy Joel became the Piano Man.”
Mazur said: “What a dream come true! These are the real-life events I witnessed first-hand that shaped Billy from a keyboard player in the local Long Island band, The Hassles, into the iconic musician, singer-songwriter, and entertainer who thrills audiences around the world, today.”
Joel has released 13 studio albums over his career, with the last being 2001’s ‘Fantasies & Delusions’ which featured classical compositions. He’s continued to tour since, with shows scheduled at New York’s Madison Square Garden later this month.