More and more musician biopics are in the works these days. The Jimi Hendrix movie is already filming, the Kurt Cobain movie is in production, and now work has started on a film about the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. According to reports in Rolling Stone, casting for the film is set to begin this year.
The film, produced by Apollo 13 producer Brian Grazer, has been a long-gestating project since the late 1990s, when Grazer and director Spike Lee first conceived of the project. Brown was aware of the project when we was alive, but he was reportedly wary of any attempt to tell his life story on film. However, the film hit a real snag upon Brown’s death in 2006 and the ensuing legal drama between the singer’s children and his fourth wife Tomi Rae Hynie Brown. Now, with the various copyright issues all settled, production on the film has begun again with Mick Jagger on board as co-producer and The Help director Tate Taylor replacing Lee.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Grazer claimed that he had gotten Brown’s approval to include some of the more uncomfortable aspects of his life, such as his 1988 arrest for drugs and an alleged interstate high-speed car chase, but added that the focus of the film would remain on his career in the late ’60s and early ’70s. The film has no projected release date at this time.