The Dark Knight actor was set to play Wilson in a new biopic about the late musician, but was reportedly “too exhausted” after filming I, Frankenstein and backed out, writes Rolling Stone.
Eckhart had spent six months learning to sing and play drums for his role in The Drummer, which was to focus on the final six years of Wilson‘s life, with Vera Farmiga playing Wilson’s girlfriend Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac. Producers have said it is unlikely that they will now carry on with the movie and the Dennis Wilson Trust have also stated: “the project is officially off.” Wilson’s children, Carl and Jennifer were set to co-produce the film.
In 2011 director Randy Miller told Variety: “We’d been trying to figure out who the right person would be to fill this role. It’s quite a demanding role so it had to be a great actor who could sing… There’s a discovery about Dennis with this film. Everybody knows Brian, but nobody really knows Dennis’ music.”
Dennis Wilson was the drummer of The Beach Boys and, famously, the only member of the band who actually surfed. He released one solo album in his lifetime, ‘Pacific Ocean Blue’, and his unfinished second solo album ‘Bambu’ was released posthumously. Wilson died in 1983 at the age of 39. The end of his life was ravaged by alcohol and drug addiction.