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Chadwick Boseman Will Play James Brown In Tate Taylor's Biopic

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 26, 2013 at 9:05PM

Chadwick Boseman
Chadwick Boseman


Earlier today, I published an entry on Tate Taylor's announced plans to begin shooting his James Brown biopic this fall, wondering whether he and producer Brian Grazer had settled on an actor to play the lead, given that fall is just around the corner.

News just hit the web announcing that Chadwick Boseman has been selected for the job, which is housed at Universal Pictures.

This would make it the second real-life public personality Boseman will play on screen. Earlier this year, he starred as Jackie Robinson in Brian Helgeland's biopic on the history-making baseball legend, 42.

This is a film that Spike Lee was previously long-attached to direct, but was replaced by Tate Taylor (director of The Help) earlier this year, with super producer Brian Grazer producing, and Mick Jagger joining Grazer as producer.

Taylor plans to shoot the film this fall in Mississippi, including filming at the Mississippi Coliseum on the state fairgrounds, where Brown performed a concert in February 1969. 

And as for whether James Brown (whom Grazer said he met several times while he was alive, and even discussed the project) was at all concerned about a warts and all telling of his life story on film, Grazer said he seemed OK with that.

The screenplay has been penned by Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth (they wrote the script for Fair Game, the Naomi Watts and Sean Penn film).

So, essentially, James Brown, The Godfather Of Soul's story will be told on screen by a pair of white writers, white producers and a white director.

That's progress for ya...

The story will begin in Brown's youth, as he rose from extreme poverty to become The Godfather Of Soul.

The star of Mischa Webley's indie PTSD drama/thriller The Kill Hole, and also a director in his own right, Boseman impressed critics with his star-turn as Robinson, and will next be seen in Lionsgate’s sports drama Draft Day, in which he plays Vontae Mack, a linebacker with NFL dreams, co-starring alongside Kevin Costner.

Boseman has also been rumored to be at the top of Marvel's short list of actors to cast in their Black Panther movie - a project that fanboys and girls have been wishing for, for quite some time. 

Now start imagining him with a perm...

This article is related to: Chadwick Boseman

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