Actor Aaron Eckhart has signed on to star in The Drummer, the biopic currently in pre-production on the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Beach Boys[/lastfm] late co-founder [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Dennis Wilson[/lastfm]

Eckhart, who is now 43, will portray Wilson during the last six years of his life, up through his 1983 drowning death only weeks after his 39th birthday.

dennis wilson zippo kluv getty photo by rb redferns Aaron Eckhart Cast As Beach Boy Dennis Wilson

Aaron does resemble Dennis; just add beard & long hair. (Photo by RB-Redferns)

Aaron will be re-recording Wilson’s work for the movie — and is currently taking piano and drum lessons for the part — is best known for his roles in The Dark Knight, Thank You For Smoking, Love Happens, and No Reservations, among other films.

The film, which is said to be focusing on Wilson’s main solo era of 1975 to 1978, will figure in his critically acclaimed 1977 solo album Pacific Ocean Blue, and is being spearheaded by the Wilson estate with children Jennifer and Carl B. Wilson serving as producers. Although the film has been pitched around Hollywood as being the definitive look at Wilson’s life, according to inside sources, the film has been whitewashed to omit any mention of Wilson’s late-’60s relationship with Charles Manson and his crippling dependency on cocaine and alcohol which led directly to his premature death.

Randall Miller spoke to Variety about the choice of Eckhart for the role:”There’s a discovery about Dennis with this film. Everybody knows Brian (Wilson), but nobody really knows Dennis’ music.”

Beach Boys historian Jon Stebbins, who wrote the groundbreaking and definitive biography on Dennis Wilson, titled The Real Beach Boy (yet is not a producer or a consultant on the movie) says that by the tail end of the 1970’s (the exact period that The Drummer concentrates on), Dennis’ life was spiraling out of control: “I’m the world’s biggest Dennis Wilson fan, but I can tell you that he was as self-destructive as they come and just got worse. Y’know, it was a fork in the road, ’78, ’79, I think is where he could have gone the way that (his brother) Carl (Wilson) went and cleaned himself up and he didn’t do it. He never could quite do it.”

Filming for The Drummer is expected to start around Spring 2012. ~JZ.


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