Mos Def to Play Thelonious Monk in Upcoming Biopic


There’s a biopic about jazz legend Thelonious Monk in the works, and A Tribe Called Quest’s Mos Def is set to play Monk.

We don’t do enough jazz news at Monster Children, and I’m gonna change that if my name isn’t Amos Turtlecock (that’s not my name). The film is called Thelonious, and in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the producers on the project, Lord Moreland and Alberto Marzan, said that Monk’s story is the one today’s world needs. ‘It’s the story that today’s world needs,’ said Marzan. ‘This is not a simple story about a black jazz pianist that gets fame, does drugs, and dies. They will understand the genius Thelonious was and how the world changed after him for good.’ Marzan added that the decision to cast Mos Def (who will be credited with his non-rap name, Yasiin Bey) was a no-brainer: ‘This needed to be somebody that understood Thelonious’ music on an intimate level. It needed to be someone who understood the life and challenges of being a musician, a black man in this universe. Yasiin has Thelonious’ morals and focus on what matters.’ Speaking to RS via email, Mos Def described Monks as ‘A leader.A Lord.A shape in space.A man from a community of devotion who lives a simple life distant from society. The adjectives.can never be nouns.Love.is a verb.The Future has already happened.And Forever.is a current event.’

Production for Thelonius is set to begin in summer 2022.

Sign up for the Monster Children Newsletter