Ok, this looks like something I’d definitely want to watch.
Centric TV will premiere Don Cornelius: Visionary, Trailblazer, & Cultural Icon.
Co-produced by Cornelius’ son, Tony, the special will feature interviews from Gladys Knight, Anita Baker, Questlove of The Roots, Kool and the Gang, Eddie Levert, Missy Elliott, and many more.
Don Cornelius: Visionary, Trailblazer, & Cultural Icon premieres on June 23, at 11P/10C… only on Centric.
I should note that, recall that a week or so after Don Cornelius died earlier this year, there was word on the street of renewed interest in a feature film based on the classic TV show Soul Train – thanks to Cornelius’ death.
How unfortunate is that? The man literally had to die for his film to finally get made – a project that we’d been tracking since 2009, when it was announced that Warner Bros. had hired a writer to pen the script – specifically Malcolm Spellman, whose only previous credit at the time was co-writing the screenplay for Rick Famuyiwa’s Our Family Wedding.
Don Cornelius was all set to co-produce the film which was to be set in the 1980s. The film’s protagonist was to come from an “L.A. hood,” and his ticket out was to be his gift for popping, the style of dance that became popular in the 80s.
Cornelius reportedly told Spellman he’d always wanted to mount a tour with bands and dancers, and the writer was supposed to make that fictional tour a centerpiece of the film.
“This guy is a serious popper, with street edge, and he wants to get on that tour, with the hottest of the hot,” Spellman said.
Acording to THR, later in 2009, after the above report, Cornelius wanted to instead do a “buddy action comedy, like Rush Hour set in the world of Soul Train,” says a Warner Bros. source.
But that project also stalled; and then the next attempt at a script imagined the film as a “coming-of-age dance movie,” but Warner Bros wasn’t interested in that.
Earlier this year, after his death, it was reported that Soul Train Holdings is working with WME to find ways to essentially exploit and grow the brand, which will includes a film, a stage musical AND a TV show; not sure in what order.
“Certainly we want to proceed in a way that will highlight the contribution of Don to the creation of the brand and its subsequent impact on American culture,” says Kenard Gibbs, CEO of Soul Train Holdings.
So… things seem to be in motion again, but what exactly will come of any of this is still uncertain. I’m sure they’ll like to get something on schedule soon. Audiences may not be as interested in a Soul Train film, stage musical or TV show a year or two from now; certainly not as interested as they may be now, since his death touched so many, as calous as all that might sound.
But in the meantime, tune in to Centric tomorrow night for the documentary feature, which you can preview below: