Of the many long brewing biopics in Hollywood, a movie about James Brown is among them. Spike Lee was once on board the project, with Wesley Snipes as his choice to play the lead, but that iteration has long since been taken off table. Can a powerhouse trio that includes “The Help” director Tate Taylor, super producer Brian Grazer and fan Mick Jagger help this one get on up? (Sorry, we had to).
They’ll be giving it a try as all three are now behind the untitled project that will cover the life of the legendary R&B and soul performer. The project has a script from Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth (“Fair Game“) for a picture that Grazer has been shepherding since 2006. Jagger — whose own career was influenced by Brown (see image below) — is lending his producing powers as well, while Taylor will direct. Of course, the question remains: who can possibly fill the role of The Hardest Working Man In Show Business?
Last year, Brown’s daughter revealed that Eddie Murphy, Usher and uh, Chris Brown, were all possibilities/wishlist type folks, but not much has been heard since and no word if they are still candidates. It’s always a tricky thing casting famous musicians — going with name stars and unknowns have their own sets of pros and cons — but undoubtedly, Grazer and co. will have their pick of the litter.
As for when it will shoot, your guess is as good as ours. This one has been brewing for so long now, that it’s almost routine to get an update and then not hear anything again for a while. But hopefully, this will get on the good foot soon, as more James Brown is never a bad thing. [Deadline]