A biopic surrounding Billy Joel’s early years is in the works, but one main element will be absent from the project — Joel’s music.
The project, titled Piano Man is set to be written and directed by Adam Ripp as part of Michael Jai White’s, Jaigantic Studios. It will cover Joel’s life from discovery in his teen years to his breakout performance in 1972.
According to Variety, Joel’s reps have stated the singer is not involved in the project and has not granted rights to his music, name or life story. Instead, the studio has acquired the life rights of his first manager, Irwin Mazur, who worked with Joel’s from 1970 to 1972. Mazur’s father also owned the Long Island club where Joel got his start with The Hassles.
“What a dream come true,” said Mazur. “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.”
Executive writer/producer/director Adam Ripp also has strong connections that will help tell the story as his father, Artie Ripp, signed Joel to his first solo recording deal and produced his debut album, Cold Spring Harbor.
“Billy Joel has been a part of my life since my father signed him to his record label when I was 4 years old,” shared Ripp. “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.”
No word yet on the release date.