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Denzel Washington Considers Thelonious Monk Biopic and Potential Comedy Role

Written by on February 13, 2012 

We all love Denzel Washington, but the middling response to his latest vehicle, Safe House, has sparked talk of a point I’ve made for the past couple of years: the guy needs to step out of his box. Be it a move away from Tony Scott, putting an end to “the mysterious badass,” getting Spike back on the phone, whatever’s needed to get some interesting projects on his plate needs to happen soon.

An interview with The Guardian (via ThePlaylist) might have a solution. Over there, Washington revealed that he’s not only “hovering” over a comedy — which he hasn’t done in quite some time — the actor would also “really like to play” Thelonious Monk, the jazz musician responsible for famous pieces such as “Blue Monk” and “Straight, No Chaser,” among numerous others. (He’s second only to Duke Ellington as the most-recorded composer in jazz history, as a matter of fact.)

Now, ambition is all well and good, but Denzel‘s got a leg up on the Dan Aykroyd‘s of the world — there’s already a script in his hands, one which could make the jump from page to screen in the near future. We’d need to know a little more to make a solid judgement, but the actor was quoted as saying, “I’m talking about it more, so maybe I’m talking myself into it.”

ThePlaylist then points out that, in a 2007 interview with MTV, El Cantante helmer Leon Ichaso was talking to Washington and Wesley Snipes about the role. There aren’t any signs that he’s still working on the film — i.e., if he was ever working on it in the first place — but I’ll take a potential director and an interested star over neither. And, while we’re at it, I’ll also take the potential of caring about a Washington film again.

Do you also feel that Washington should do something new? Would a biopic or comedy let that happen?

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