IFC Films has snapped up U.S. distribution rights to Born to Be Blue, a musical bio of jazz legend Chet Baker. In the film, Ethan Hawke (Boyhood) portrays Baker in a partially fictionalized feature that showcases Baker’s attempts at a comeback after succumbing to substance abuse problems. Robert Budreau directs and wrote the screenplay.
Born to Be Blue made its world premiere at the recently concluded Toronto Film Festival. The film premiered in as a “Special Presentation” and marks yet another bio of a legendary musical icon. This year, TIFF also premiered the Hank Williams bio I Saw the Light (starring Tom Hiddelston) and the ongoing New York Film Festival will close with Miles Ahead, a Miles Davis bio starring and directed by Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda). Born to Be Blue co-stars Carmen Ejogo (Selma).
The film received favorable reviews coming out of TIFF, especially for Hawke’s performance. Variety‘s Andrew Barker wrote, “Ethan Hawke gives one of the best performances of his career in Robert Budreau’s Chet Baker non-biopic.” The actor has been on quite a roll as of late- just last year he received an Oscar nomination for his critically admired role in Richard Linklater’s Boyhood (another film distributed by IFC Films) and the year prior, he received an Oscar nomination for co-writing Linklater’s Before Midnight.
On the horizon, Hawke will co-star in Regression, a thriller from director Alejandro Amenabár (The Others) co-starring Emma Watson (The Bling Ring). Hawke is currently filming a remake of The Magnificent Seven for director Antoine Fuqua (Southpaw) alongside a powerhouse ensemble that includes Denzel Washington (The Equalizer), Chris Pratt (Jurassic World) and Matt Bomer (Magic Mike). Hawke received his first Oscar nomination for his supporting performace in Fuqua’s 2011 film Training Day, a film that netted Washington his second Academy Award.
No release date has yet been announced for Born to Be Blue.