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‘Wire’ Actor Goes From Mean Streets of Baltimore to B.B. King Role


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If The Amp ran Hollywood, we'd make it a prerequisite that every film produced would have at least one member of The Wire in the cast. Apparently, there's some bigwigs in Tinseltown that agree with us, because actor Wendell Pierce, who was incredible as Detective William "Bunk" Moreland on The Wire, has been cast to portray blues legend B.B. King in an upcoming sorta biopic called B.B. King And I, Variety reports. Get it? It's like The King And I, but with a guitar named Lucille. Considering Pierce has showcased his music chops already on Treme, this is perfect casting.

The film is based on a true story centering on King's 30-year friendship with a younger drummer named Michael Zanetis, who will be played by Almost Famous star Patrick Fugit. It sounds a little like Almost Famous in a sense; instead of Fugit following around Billy Crudup and Stillwater, he's ditching his normal suburban life with aspirations of performing with King. Over the course of their friendship, Zanetis eventually helped land B.B. King a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It's not your run-of-the-mill biopic -- it seems like Zanetis, who co-wrote the film and will also produce, is the focus here and not B.B. -- but we can't wait to see Bunk Moreland in the King role.

This isn't the first cast member from The Wire to appear in a music biopic: Bunk Moreland's partner Jimmy McNulty, actor Dominic West, previously played a guitarist of the Judas Priest-inspired band in that Mark Wahlberg movie Rock Star. Now if only someone would cast Omar Little (Michael K. Williams) as Tupac, we'd be all set.

[Photo: Riccardo S. Savi/]

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