Back to IndieWire

First Look at Chadwick Boseman in James Brown’s Biopic ‘Get on Up’

First Look at Chadwick Boseman in James Brown's Biopic 'Get on Up'

Here’s your first look (pictured above) at Chadwick Boseman incarnating James Brown for the upcoming Universal Pictures’ biopic titled Get on Up, directed by The Help‘s Tate Taylor and produced by Brian Grazer and Mick Jagger.

Universal has moved up the release date of its James Brown biopic to August 1, 2014, taking over the slot previously reserved for its 50 Shades Of Grey film adaptation. Get On Up will compete with Disney’s wide release of its adaptation of Guardians of the Galaxy on that August release weekend. 

Get on Up, which promises a “warts and all” telling of Brown’s life story on film, boasts an impressive cast which includes Jill Scott (one of Brown’s wives), Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis (Brown’s mom), Octavia Spencer (Brown’s aunt),  Lennie James (Brown’s father), Nelsan Ellis (Bobby Byrd), Tikka Sumpter (Yvonne Fair) and Keith Robinson.

Get on Up was penned by Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth, who wrote the script for Fair Game, which starred Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.

So far, I’m pleasantly surprised at the transformation, since some of us could hardly imagine Boseman in the lead role. It’s only a first look however; we’re definitely even more curious and really looking forward to seeing more, especially Boseman actually gettin’ on up, from the ground up.

This Article is related to: News and tagged



Man I hope they do Mr. Dynamite Mr. Outta Sight some justice in his bio! If it's like Ray Charles then it'll be a winner! I'm expecting the soundtrack to be a work of musical art! They need to contact all of his living muscians and get their input to make it real!


That looks like Craig Robinson on the horn.


Alright, Chad!

Miles Ellison

That picture looks like Eddie Murphy's James Brown impression from SNL.


I'm not looking foward to seeing this movie, it's going to be watered down typical hollywood bio like 42. They should have let Spike Lee direct it.


wait… you wear that… sounds like Anthony Mackie crying.


Chad is a diligent student of his craft. I can't wait to see his performance. Champion him!


Hopefully a nice birthday gift for me when I see it on 8/1.


"I'm pleasantly surprised at the transformation"

YOU ARE!? And what exactly have you seen that we have not? I mean, all I see is Chadwich Boseman "playing like" he's some guy (lord know who) from the past. Hell, he could be playing Chuck Berry or Little Richard for all we know from the way his butter is whipped in this picture, because he sure ain't screaming James Brown. And with Craig Robinson playing the sax over his should, I knew we were in make-believe land.

But you're right, the truth will be told when it's gettin' on up, from the ground up time. If Chadwick can't do the James Brown, he's gonna have to get off the stage. And, since nobody that I've seen has captured James Brown's moveS other than Prince and Michael Jackson (2 MEGA STAR DANCING MACHINES), Mr. Boseman has his hands full.

Mark and Darla

For some odd reason this photo remind me of a young Mick singing 'Can't get satisfy'

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *