An update to our December 4 piece, announcing that British actor and co-star of Showtime’s hit drama series Homeland, David Harewood, was in talks to play Paul Robeson in an independently-produced biopic on the life of the legendary man behind the voice, the actor, singer, activist, and all-around Renaissance Man, who would’ve been 114 years old this year, were he still alive.
The project comes from Four Stars International, and will be produced by Greg Carter and executive produced by Richard Akel, with a script penned by Akel and Terry Bisson, with promises of a film that’s worthy of its subject.
No director is attached yet, but we’ve learned that a prominent director is currently in talks to helm the project; however, we can’t yet say who that is yet.
However, what we definitely can tell you, as we were told today, is that producers of the film are in talks with revered jazzman Wynton Marsalis to score the film, which should definitely make you sit up and pay even closer attention to this upcoming film – that is, if David Harewood’s and Louis Gossett Jr.’s attachments to star weren’t already enough.
The celebrated musician is certainly no stranger to composing original music for film soundtracks, having written music for at least 2 films from acclaimed documentarian Ken Burns, and is attached to do the same for Bolden!, the Anthony Mackie drama based on the life of African American cornetist Buddy Bolden.
The film is set to begin principal photography in the first half of 2013, with plans for a theatrical release also in 2013, likely in the latter half. And if the rest of the cast, as well as the director, impress as current potential attachments have, this could very well be a film that will find itself in Oscar conversations about a year from now.
I wonder who’ll play Oscar Micheaux, since Robeson made his film acting debut in Micheaux’s Body and Soul (1925).
Given the long life that he lived, the events he lived through, the other historically-significant public figures he knew, interacted and worked with, his on-screen and off-screen accomplishments, his activism that would lead to his black-listing, and so much more, there’s a lot of great history here in this one, single life. And a big screen account of that life is one that’s definitely warranted.
We’re definitely excited to see what develops here.