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” (www.cantstopthefunk.com) 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.