The Wire’s Wendell Pierce confirmed to play B.B. King in The Thrill Is On film

B.B. King performs at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Hague, Netherlands on 9th July 1993
(Image credit: Frans Schellekens/Redferns)

Here at Guitar World we’re plenty excited about the fact that the B.B. King film, The Thrill Is On, is full steam ahead. Even better, it’s now been confirmed that actor Wendell Pierce will portray the late blues electric guitar legend in the film.

Pierce, of course, is best known for playing The Wire’s Detective Bunk Moreland and Jack Ryan’s James Greer.

In a post on Twitter he announced, “We are official. Preparation has begun on a film where I will be honored to play the great, B.B. King. Humbled.”

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In a separate tweet Pierce wrote, “I promised B.B. King before he died, I will honor him and his creative genius. An American Icon.”

The Thrill Is On centers on the friendship between King and musician and entrepreneur Michael Zanetis. The film shows how their lives intersect over the years, culminating with Zanetis fulfilling a promise made on the night B.B.’s father died to secure the blues great a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Zanetis is also attached to the project as a writer and producer.

You can watch B.B. receive his star on the Walk of Fame above, and for more information on the film, head to The Thrill Is On.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.