Making for a busy couple of weeks, Aaron Eckhart has followed his Frankenstein project by signing on to play Dennis Wilson—the man who provided The Beach Boys’ beats in those early, insignificant days before they found John Stamos and really took off—in the upcoming The Drummer, a biopic from director Randall Miller. The film, written by Miller’s Bottle Shock collaborator Jody Savin, covers the final six years of Wilson’s life, beginning with the production of his cult album Pacific Ocean Blue and ending with his death by drowning in 1983, thereby handily sidestepping the Charles Manson era, as well as anything that would involve getting other members of The Beach Boys to sign off on it. Instead, it will focus exclusively on Wilson’s solo work, including several versions of Wilson’s songs re-recorded by Eckhart himself.
Eckhart, of course, last put his singing talents on display as an opera-belting chef in No Reservations—so in other words, no one has ever heard him sing. But he’s said to be already working on approximating Wilson’s smoke-cured rasp while also learning to play both the drums and piano, so clearly he’s serious. The Drummer joins that previously announced Brian Wilson biopic that’s still being developed by Oren Moverman; meanwhile, the big-screen version of Mike Love’s life story has already opened to rave reviews in Mike Love’s head.