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Universal Announces Launch of ‘Get on Up’ Tour Ahead of Film’s August Theatrical Debut

Universal Announces Launch of 'Get on Up' Tour Ahead of Film's August Theatrical Debut

Universal Pictures’ James Brown biopic, “Get on Up,” begins with a 6-year-old James Brown, as he’s abandoned by his mother (played by Viola Davis) and left to live with his Aunt Honey (played by Octavia Spencer), who runs a brothel. And the film ends in 1993 with a comeback concert, after Brown served prison time for aggravated assault and eluding the police in a wild car chase.

So it’s not quite a birth-to-death biopic. 

Brown would eventually die on Christmas Day in 2006 – 13 years after the movie’s above ending.

Star Chadwick Boseman (as James Brown) will also reportedly frequently speak directly to the camera, breaking the so-called fourth wall, addressing the audience directly, and offering them insight into his choices – an interesting decision by director Tate Taylor, and producers Brian Grazer and Mick Jagger.

Lennie James, Nelsan Ellis, Jill Scott, Dan Aykroyd, Keith Robinson, Craig Robinson, Ralph Tresvant, Tika Sumpter and Dan Aykroyd round out the cast.

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.

Universal has set the film’s release date for August 1, 2014, which isn’t too far away.

Ahead of the film’s August 2, 2014 theatrical debut, Universa today announced the launch of what the studio calls the “Get on Up” Tour, describing it as a nationwide authentic and immersive storytelling experience, which will kick off on Friday, June 20, at the American Black Film Festival in New York, when fans will be able to, “Get Up,” “Get Down” and “Get on the Good Foot,” throughout the USA this summer.

For more on what exactly this tour includes, read on below via press release from the studio:

The “Get on Up” Tour is brought to life through an experience designed to inspire fans, as well as educate a new generation about James Brown’s influence on popular culture by leveraging powerful visuals from the film and showcasing iconic images and memorabilia. 

“Our goal with the Get on Up Tour is to entertain audiences who were directly influenced by James Brown’s life, as well as to demonstrate to a new generation just how impactful he was, and remains, to modern culture,” said Talitha Watkins, vice president of multicultural marketing, Universal Pictures.  “We want to engage fans in a way that authentically honors his legacy while bringing the fun and funk that he brought to global audiences.”

The visuals on the Get on Up Tour will bring visitors into an experience with exciting elements and activities, including a place where attendees can record their best James Brown impersonation, a dance area that casts colorful shadows as guests show off their moves and a vinyl record tribute wall that prompts fans to capture how James Brown inspired them.

The tour will also feature a viewing area where attendees can watch clips from the upcoming release of Get on Up, as well as immerse themselves in outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage with the cast from the film’s production set.  Additionally, fans can join the never-ending groove of “Can’t Stop the Funk” ( by recording their moves and uploading them to a site, where they will be featured in a tribute to James Brown.

The Get on Up Tour kicks off in New York City at the American Black Film Festival June 20-22 and travels to the Essence Festival for its 20th anniversary celebration in New Orleans on July 3-6.  The tour will return to New York on July 18.

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Let me point out some minor mistakes in the article. When you list the co-stars in "Get On Up" you list Dan Aykroyd's name twice. Then you say the release date is August 1, 2014, but then say the theatrical debut of the film is August 2, 2014. Release and theatrical debut are the same! In that same sentence you forgot to add a "L" to Universal.



That's right, I'm Gettin' On Up and calling Shadow & Act's premier film analyst b/c if there is ever a movie begging for a critical analysis, as it relates to race – this be it. But since Andre is not available at the moment, let me do my thang.

First, what's with this?–>" Get On Up Star Chadwick Boseman (as James Brown) will also reportedly frequently speak directly to the camera, breaking the so-called fourth wall, addressing the audience directly, and offering them insight into his choices"

WTF!? Seriously?! Listen, we're talking about the God Father of Soul. Michael Corleone (The Sicilian Godfather) would be treated with more dignity and respect. So why is James Brown being displayed as a joking caricature? Andre Seewood, please come now :-)

Well, until Andre appears, let me continue. Can I be brutally blunt – for one second? Listen, from the jump I've called these "black stories" written, produced and directed by white gentleman, nothing more than pimpin' black icons and pandering to black viewers. Now, since we all know pimpin' ain't easy (at least this production knows that very well) now Universal is pulling out the big bad madame in the form of Talitha Watkins, vice president of multicultural marketing, Universal Pictures. That's right, although prior to this ad hoc arrangement, there was not a black person to be found on this project, BUT NOW they trot out a black woman to pander to black folks at the premier music festival of the year, Essence Festival's 20th anniversary celebration.

Oh lord, the agony of it all. I mean, I don't like being pimped and played – do you? And where is Andre Seewood when I need him?

Ol' Skool

What's next, clowns outside every theater beckoning passerby's to come nearer? Geez, this ad hoc "Get on Up" Tour has the feel of desperation one would see when a fledgling business is on its last leg.

That said, this fiasco reminds of minor league baseball and football teams who desperately try to attract fans, not by the play on the field but by gimmicks, amusement rides and special giveaways. Damn, damn, damn, stop and think for one second, James Brown performed the song "Papa Don't Take No Mess", yet this sideshow smells awfully funky.

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