Alan Rickman to Play Hilly Kristal in CBGB Film

Alan Rickman is set to play Hilly Kristal in the film about the New York club he founded, CBGB.

The movie, which will cover the club's history from 1974 to 1976, is being produced by Randall Miller, Jody Savin and Brad Rosenberger with Miller directing. Production is scheduled to start in June now that Miller and Savin's Dennis Wilson biopic, The Drummer, has been moved to a fall start. Lisa Kristal Bergman, the daughter of Kristal, will co-produce.

Savin said in a statement "We wrote this role for Alan Rickman who, like Hilly Kristal, is a true champion of the arts. Neither Hilly nor Alan approach art from a point of view of elitism. To me that is heroic."

CBGB was originally opened in 1973 as a live club for country, bluegrass and blues but fairly quickly evolved into one of the most important venues for the burgeoning punk and new wave genres. Among those that got their start at the club were Patti Smith, the Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads and Television. The venue closed in 2006 after a prolonged battle with the local residents committee and the landlord. Kristal died a year later from lung cancer.

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