As we’ve said before, music biopics tend to take a long time to develop. Music rights, pleasing various interests, getting the right talent in place can be tricky, and getting it all lined up at the right time even more difficult, but the wheels seem to be moving on a biopic on soul music legend Sam Cooke. Those of you with a good memory will recall that back in 2011, the project was first announced with veteran British writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais (the pair behind “The Commitments” and “Across The Universe“) having delivered a screenplay, but not much has been heard since. Until now…
Shadow & Act reports that Carl Franklin (“One False Move,” “Devil In A Blue Dress,” “House Of Cards“) is now attached to direct the film. ABKCO, the record company which owns most of Cooke’s output, are independently producing the project which is based on the book “Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke” by Peter Guralnick (who also was behind the officially sanctioned, Grammy-award-winning documentary “Sam Cooke: Legend.”) Best known for songs like “A Change Is Gonna Come,” “You Send Me” and “Chain Gang” among many others, Cooke’s career was burned brightly in his brief time, but he was tragically killed at an all too young 33 years-old, shot by a hotel manager in an incident that’s still somewhat mysterious and controversial.
Mark Ciardi, Gordon Gray, and Jody Klein are producing the film, and it looks like it will be tackling both success and haunted pain found in Cooke’s music and personal life. Here’s the official description of the movie:
This is the true story of the legendary singer/songwriter Sam Cooke, who started out as a Gospel singer and horrified his fellow musicians when he crossed over into pop music. Enormously successful, Sam was less happy in his personal life, since his relentless womanizing and touring schedule alienated his troubled wife Barbara, in a marriage that went into a downward spiral after the tragic death of their baby son.
Things still appear to be in early stages as the hunt is on to find someone who fill the very large shoes of Cooke, but there is no set start date just yet. As for Franklin, he continues to work steadily on TV, recently released his latest feature “Bless Me, Ultima” and has cop flick “City Of Night” developing. No word on where the Cooke projects fits in his rotation but here’s hoping it’s up to bat soon.