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Biopic On Casablanca Records Founder To Star Justin Timberlake (Parliament, Donna Summer Repped)

by Tambay A. Obenson
September 26, 2011 8:19 AM
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From Deadline:

Justin Timberlake has signed on to star in the feature Spinning Gold, a biopic of famous 1970s record producer Neil Bogart, co-founder of Casablanca Records. The film, written by Tim Bogart, tells the rags-to-riches story of Neil Bogart, a dirt-poor Jewish kid from Brooklyn who went on to become a multimillionaire and help define 1970s pop culture with his Casablanca label that launched the careers of such superstars as KISS, Parliament, Donna Summer, and The Village People.

Casablanca signed Parliament in 1973; this was, in part, due to Neil Bogart's reportedly long-standing relationship with group leader George Clinton; Parliament is said to have had their 1st top ten R&B hit under Bogart's watch. In 1975, Casablanca signed Donna Summer (then newbie), and released her gold album Love to Love You Baby.

Other Casablanca artists of note include: Cameo, Irene Cara, Stephanie Mills, The Four Tops, and others.

So, the obvious question here is, although the film will be centered on Bogart's life, how many of these artists managed by the label that made him rich will be represented in the film?

The early signees are definitely highlights - Donna Summer, Parliament and The Village People notably.

Bogart died in 1982 after being stricken with cancer.

As for the Timberlake casting... meh... I'm still not convinced. Regardless, it looks like he might be chasing Oscar with this.

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More: casting, Things That Make You Go Hmm...

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  • CareyCarey | October 1, 2011 11:58 AMReply

    Okay, I'm going to walk lightly around this one AccidentalVisitor, because I feel something brewing in the air. I mean, he should want to look like Chris Brown? He's had slim pickings? Really? And he's been nominated for what, by whom? And whatever that is makes him a great actor? Miss me.

    But I'm gonna slow my roll until I see what you really want to say. Then we might have a little chat. I feel that you wanna talk about a few things other than Michael Ealy. I mean, excuse me if I'm wrong but it seems very strange that after 5 days you've choosen that obscure point as your entry into this discussion.... so what's really up? You got something on your mind... b/c you generally have 5 pages of script?

  • AccidentalVisitor | October 1, 2011 6:19 AMReply

    {{{ @Nadell, if Michael Ealy paid for his training, he got ripped off because that boy can not act. The best thing he has going for him is he looks like a singer, Chris Brown.


    Moronic on two fronts. First of all he looks nothing like Chris Brown (nor should he want to). Second this is a guy despite his limited pickings, who has gotten nominated already for an Independent Spirit Award and either an Emmy or Golden Globe for his work in "Sleeper Cell".

  • Micah | September 30, 2011 1:16 AMReply

    Did you think saying you know of a black museum proved any of your points?
    And in the same breath you criticize my actual references. The irony is totally lost on you.
    Sad, just sad.

  • CareyCarey | September 29, 2011 10:28 AMReply

    Oh lord, Micah the kid is back. And don't tell me you're a DUDE!? Lord have mercy, now I get it! What's next, a fart joke?

    Now I get it! You're trying to build some props.... ooooh, that's so cute and I am honored. But look dude, next time, don't show your hold card with stunts like your latest cut and paste history lesson. You didn't have to prove to us that you didn't get all of your 70's and 80's soul brother knowledge from reading old record album jackets.

    Hey, if you're interested, I can pull you up real fast by turning you on to a black museum that actually has red, black and green dashikis and Afro puffs (and real rolled doobies) from back in the day. Yeah, real groovy stuff bro
    . Solid!

    Peace, love and Sooooooul Train :-)

  • Micah | September 29, 2011 5:24 AMReply

    Oh and since I'm already being bad.

    There's one thing I do defer to Mr. Carey on and that's Not So Cute Jokes. After all he is the chief purveyor of them. Yeah pot calling the kettle black on that one.

    (Or should I say Ms. Carey. Really when does a man ever refer to another dude as girl OR call himself careycarey?)

    Later DownLow Carey.

  • Micah | September 29, 2011 5:00 AMReply

    Wow it seems as if I got under someone's skin. Whoops. I know I should indulge in this type of discussion, but just this once.

    You know the interesting thing about the comments section is that there are no requirements for having a basic grasp of logic or the english language (a.k.a. preppy talk?) when submitting. I guess it may seem as though I went hard on an individual's foolish notions in one of my comments. It's understandable he may want to retaliate, no matter how feeble the attempt.

    In regards to the Eiesenberg vs Timberlake discussion, even a 4th grader could discern that no one said the producers would never pass on Eiesenberg. It was clearly stated they would never consider suggesting him for the role would be a joke. Simple english can be extremely vexing for some.

    Making the argument that obliviously they passed over Eisenberg because Timberlake is the star of the film is foolish for 3 reasons:

    1. None of us even know if he was in the running.
    2. Even if he was, it could be that he declined the role. (once again not something we are privy to.)
    3. No one was making the claim that he hadn't been passed over. It was simply stated that if he was in the running, serious producers would have considered him even if they decided to go a different direction.

    As far as P-Funk (Psychedelic Funk) is concerned, if I have to explain it to you you won't get it. That's paraphrasing a George Clinton statement.

    Parliament/Funkadelic (a play on the word psychedelic) made constant allusion to spacey and psychedelic themes in both their lyrics and their imagery. They were influenced by Hendrix and Sly and the Family stone. They toured with bands like the Iggy Pop and the Stooges went both were early in their careers. Even the groups later popular songs like Flashlight are both funky and spacey. True P-funk believers understand these are complementary not conflicting ideals.

    Here's some further reading.

    Since these elements were part of there aesthetic and philosophy, what good reason could anyone have for them not being front and center in a film representation of George and the band?

    It's especially reasonable in a medium that thrives on gripping, exciting and sometimes provocative visuals to tell stories. Perhaps someone forgot this is a movie blog.

    I'm aware some are used to only listening to their own inane speeches. For those people maybe the head psychiatrist at the institution you currently reside in can explain this passage to you when you are having trouble comprehending rational thoughts.

    Perhaps then some will no longer RUSH in where wise men fear to tread.

    Best of Luck.

  • CareyCarey | September 28, 2011 7:52 AMReply

    "In case any one wants to write a rambling and vaguely coherent article as to why the former lead singer of Destiny’s Child should play Donna Summer, there is probably a fine physician near by to help you recover from the massive stroke you must have had"

    Ohhh, look who has NOT SO CUTE jokes. I mean, not coming from the mouth of someone who said "I’m with idol maker on wanting to see a George Clinton/Parliament film. Although I would want a very spacy/psychedelic film to reflect the bands imagery"

    Stop frontin' & shakin' & fakin', you obviously don't know nothing about George Clinton and Parliament and The funkadelics.... other than the images you saw on your daddy's LPs. You're talkin' big but your walk is telling on you.

    Psychedelic? You better ask somebody about the funk, soul and rock music of the P-Funk. Shiiit, you obviously ain't never did the Atomic Dog! Girl please, you fakin'! Who told you about "Make my funk the P-Funk, I want to get funked up"? Huh, coherently unramble that... with your preppy-smart talkin' ass. You want to see the bands psychedelic image.... *LOL*

    But look, your snipe attack aside, who got the part? Justin or the winklebird whose career trajectory and many accolades, that no serious producer or casting agent would pass on? Yeah... right? Fools wander off to places wise men tread not.

    Now, In case any one wants to write a rambling purple prose article, like a sidewinder snake talking smack, there is probably a fine physician (proctologist) near by to help you plug up yo runny stool (mouth).

  • Micah | September 28, 2011 4:13 AMReply

    While I don't know if Jessie Eisenberg would be the perfect choice instead of Timberlake, he's done exceedingly well in the majority of films he's been in. Considering his career trajectory and many accolades, no serious producer or casting agent would consider it a joke if Eisenberg had been suggested for the role. Finding the perfect balance between skill and marketability in a lead actor can be a daunting endeavor.

    In the Social Network both Eisenberg and Timberlake played to their strengths. Eisenberg played an awkward intellectual with dark undertones. Timberlake played a douche bag.

    Whether Timberlake has the acting chops to carry a dramatic major picture by himself is questionable in my very humble opinion. He admittedly can be charismatic on screen (Probably the most important attribute when it comes to being a star but not the most important for an actor). Interestingly this is probably best exemplified by his appearances in SNL skits.

    As far as his resemblance to Bogart, it's scant at best. I would suggest intracapsular cataract extraction for any one that would mistake the two for twins.

    It will interesting to see the actors or "entertainers" they chose to portray the musicians on the label.

    I'm with idol maker on wanting to see a George Clinton/Parliament film. Although I would want a very spacy/psychedelic film to reflect the bands imagery.

    In case any one wants to write a rambling and vaguely coherent article as to why the former lead singer of Destiny's Child should play Donna Summer, there is probably a fine physician near by to help you recover from the massive stroke you must have had.

  • CareyCarey | September 27, 2011 8:59 AMReply

    Wait one minute... Jesse Eisenberg!!!?? Surely you guys are joking, right?

    Jesse Eisenberg... the kid with the pimple face from Zombieland? Come on!

    Look, James Madison caught it, Jesse Eisenberg looks nothing like Neil Bogart and Timberlake could pass for his twin. So what would peter pan looking Jesse "the geek" Eisenberg bring to the table?

    Seriously, let me look down the comments and see who brought Poindexter to this party? Lets see... Lets see who was driving this car with Idol-Maker sitting in the "scrub's seat"

    Here he goes... "Jessie Eisenberg would have been perfect casting for this".

    OH NO! It's my homie darkan on September 26, 2011

  • nyc/caribbeanragazza | September 27, 2011 8:11 AMReply

    Donna Summer actually had/has a great voice.

    If they can't find an ACTRESS with the right pipes, please dub her.

  • Mekisha Hale | September 27, 2011 8:02 AMReply

    Totally agree that there is too much of actor/singer "Justin Timberlake" in everything you see these days. Perfect choice would've been actor "Jesse Eisenberg.
    I have been a fan of the Casablanca Records story for a long time. It will be interesting how this story will look on the screen. And the label Casablanca Records culture in music history. The popular culture at that time of music rise of these artists and the artists who made the label what it was.

  • brandi | September 27, 2011 5:22 AMReply

    Carey, always love your comments.

  • CareyCarey | September 27, 2011 4:42 AMReply

    Come on you guys, why y'alll so hard on rappers and singers? I mean, I just watched 50 Cent's, aka Curtis Jackson's Thing's Fall Apart and it was....


    i'M TALKIN' BLACK-WACK-OVER-THE-TOP MAMMY. And who told Mario Van Peebles he could direct? And Lynn Whitfield... ah... is there something like the Black Razzies? I nominate her in this one.

    And look, Fifty was one of the better actors.

    But look, on the real, Justin is not a bad actor. I believe he gave one of the best performances in "Social Network". He'd be perfect for this role and they'd make money and mo-money.

    And Tamera, you gotta check out Cadillac Records, it's not a bad flick. Really, there's some nice performances up in there. But refresh my mind, Billy Jean was what?

    @Nadell, if Michael Ealy paid for his training, he got ripped off because that boy can not act. The best thing he has going for him is he looks like a singer, Chris Brown.

  • Cordell Martin | September 27, 2011 4:30 AMReply

    I know actress Tasha Smith has mentioned in an interview that her dream role is to play Donna Summer. Maybe this might be her time to shine?

  • Nadell | September 27, 2011 3:50 AMReply

    Justin Timberlake, 50 cent, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Bow Wow, Justin Beiber (I'm sure to follow), Chris Brown, Beyonce, Lady Gaga....add to the list because I promise you all these folks will or have already turned their paths to acting.
    Sorry Anika Noni Rose, Tristan Wilds, Jurnee Smollett, Amanda Bynes, Michael Ealy or whomever else is trained in acting -- your jobs are indeed being given to entertainers!

  • Tamara | September 27, 2011 2:48 AMReply

    Upon reading the title... LOL can't stop won't stop LOL

    Justin's chasing Oscar. *turns on bullhorn* Attention all singers turned "actors", get into position, target's in sight <<>> ...and GO, Justin, et al, GO!!!


    I'm interested. Justin? Meh. Yeah. Maybe. Sure. He's hit or miss with me. In Black Snake Moan...a palpable hit. Love Guru? Er, not so much. SNL annihilation. Definitely where his 'acting' strengths lie. (thank you Mickey Mouse Club!)

    This reminds me that I've yet to see Chess Records or that other version of Cadillac Records that didn't make the 'all-star-cast' cut, or even debut.

    @ Cherish, *sings* "Afternoon Delight" is a song that isn't the same like it used to be. LOL. And by a stretch, but not really, Michael Jackson's "Billy Jean"...I didn't understand until after the age of ten, what that song was really talking about. LOL

  • Cherish | September 27, 2011 1:12 AMReply


    It's funny how when you're little you can get away with singing "Love to love you baby" but after age 10, parents look at you funny.


    Damn Carey, you always trying to start something lol....

  • James Madison | September 26, 2011 11:00 AMReply

    Justin Timberlake actually looks like Neil Bogart but I am not sure of his screen presence nor have I seen him act with the exception of some Saturday Night Live skits.

    It would be great to cast some talented unknowns for the artist signed to Casablanca.

    I would be feeling this more if it was a documentary.

  • Idol-Maker | September 26, 2011 10:53 AMReply

    Meant to write, "Jesse would've been a better choice as suggested by 'darkan." Plus, this pic of Donna Summer reminds me of how she'd have been an awesome choice as Dorothy in "The Wiz" (even moreso than Stephanie Mills) imo. Ah well...

  • Idol-Maker | September 26, 2011 10:48 AMReply

    Jesse Eisenberg probably would have been a better choice. Looking forward to the film despite Justin's annoying habit of mimicking black folks (& black style) a la Al Jolson. He never shoulda got a pass after bailing on Janet Jackson...

    But whatever. I'm interested in seeing how they portray the P-Funk experience. Always felt G. Clinton was worthy of a rock biopic called "One Nation," or "The Mothership Connection." Something surreal and semi-arthouse. Hell, I probably should've written it myself lol.

    Hope this does well, then maybe StarChild will get his due...

  • Christian John Wikane | September 26, 2011 10:25 AMReply

    I think Justin Timberlake's a great choice, actually.

    Note: Irene Cara (i.e. the "Flashdance" soundtrack), Four Tops, and Stephanie Mills recorded for Casablanca after Neil Bogart's tenure at the label. He departed the company in 1980.

  • CareyCarey | September 26, 2011 10:14 AMReply

    "When I was 5 years old I would go thru father’s record collection and pull out her albums just stare at them for hours. I thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world. Wonder Woman came in second"

    Some things never change. A slightly different time period but my daughter thought she WAS one of the Emotions and Natalie Cole. Not necessarily for their beauty but I can still hear her singing their songs... "Don't Ask My Neighbor, Ask Me" and "This Will Be".

    Now, when I went up in my parents hot hot hot as hell attic, I listened to Fats Domino *smile*

    Who could play Ms Summer? Okay, lets see, a dark skin singer/actor... J Hudson. But Ms Summer didn't really have a great voice so we'd need someone with a lot of hair :-) and a decent body. Let's see.... BEYOUNCE!

  • Cherish | September 26, 2011 9:29 AMReply

    "Look at Donna Summer’s face! I don’t know about y’all but that look is saying sumtin’.. and I’d like to tell her “Love To Love You Too, Baaaaaby!"

    When I was 5 years old I would go thru father's record collection and pull out her albums just stare at them for hours. I thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world.

    Wonder Woman came in second.

    I'm not familiar with this history, but this can be a really good movie, hopefully not wasted on Timberlake. I wonder who would play Ms. Summer.

  • CareyCarey | September 26, 2011 9:10 AMReply

    "So, the obvious question here is, although the film will be centered on Bogart’s life, how many of these artists managed by the label that made him rich will be represented in the film?"

    That's a good question. And now I'm wondering who could play George Clinton!? Let's see... Denzel... right? :-)

    And now I'm thinking about the lead singer of the group Cameo, Larry Blackmon. See, he wore a large, bright-red codpiece that we all know would fit the one and only... Mr Mackie. Come on now, he needs something to make him seem "bigger", and stop taking those BBF and token negro roles.

    Yep, with the inclusion of Justin Timberlake, this movie will draw the crowds that Cadilac records could not reach (it seems like the same movie with a different white man pimpin' black singers).

    But that "Poster" alone is enough to turn me on. Look at Donna Summer's face! I don't know about y'all but that look is saying sumtin'.. and I'd like to tell her "Love To Love You Too, Baaaaaby!

  • Bruce Wintersteen | September 26, 2011 8:36 AMReply

    I’m glad to hear this after it seemed that Justin Timberlake had sadly stopped doing films by the looks of it with only ‘In Time’ left to be released and no other film projects because everyone is hounding him about why he’s doing movies instead of music.
    I want Justin Timberlake to keep doing movies rather than resuming his music career.

  • darkan | September 26, 2011 8:23 AMReply

    I had to comment on this one. Please Hollywood, stop ramming Justin Timberlake down our throats!!! He is not a film star!!! I repeat... He is not a film star. Jessie Eisenberg would have been perfect casting for this. SMH.

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