Entertainment & Arts

Alan Rickman to star in CBGB film

Alan Rickman (left) and Hilly Kristal
Image caption Alan Rickman (left) will play CBGB owner Hilly Kristal

Actor Alan Rickman is to star in a new film about famous New York nightclub CBGB, which helped launched acts like The Ramones, Blondie and Patti Smith.

The Harry Potter and Die Hard star will play the club's owner Hilly Kristal.

The film, titled CBGB, will tell the story of how Kristal opened the venue in 1973 for country, bluegrass and blues music - hence the name.

But as he began to book other acts, the venue found itself at the heart of the thriving punk and new wave scene.

Unlike many clubs, Kristal had a rule saying bands could not play cover versions, and many new groups began to forge their careers there, including also Talking Heads and Television.

Image caption The club shut in 2006, but a series of CBGB-branded festivals will take place in New York

Kristal died in 2007, a year after the club shut in a dispute over rent.

The film is due to start shooting in the late summer and will be directed by Randall Miller and written by Jody Savin.

The pair are also currently working on a biopic of the late Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson.

Last week, it was announced that a group of investors had bought CBGB's assets and plan to establish a CBGB music festival in various New York City venues this summer.

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