Producer Michael Zanetis told Variety, “We’re honored to have these extraordinary musicians join us in our tribute to Mr. King. They traveled the world with him for decades and continue to keep his legacy alive.”
“The Thrill Is On” is a drama about King’s friendship with drummer Zanetis starring Wendell Pierce as King. The movie tells “the inspiring true story of how a chance meeting between Zanetis, a young musician, and B.B. King in 1980 led to King being the first blues artist to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1990,” according to a statement from production.
Variety reported on Oct. 25 that an official biopic of iconic blues musician King is going into pre-production in 2021, according to Vassal Benford, chairman of King’s estate. The biopic is a separate project from “The Thrill Is On.” Pierce has written: “The Estate of B.B. King has requested I clarify the film ‘The Thrill Is On’ is not a biopic in the traditional sense. It is a dramatized version of a real-life friendship story in the spirit of the film ‘Round Midnight.’”
The title is a play on one of King’s biggest hits, “The Thrill Is Gone.”
King died in his sleep in Las Vegas in 2015, leaving behind a musical legacy that dated back to the 1940s when he started recording. He released over 50 albums.
(Pictured: B.B. King)