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First Looks At Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Jill Scott In James Brown Biopic 'Get On Up'

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act March 13, 2014 at 4:48PM

First Looks At Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Jill Scott In James Brown Biopic 'Get On Up'
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Get Up On It

A fresh set of photos (one above and the rest below), courtesy of a USA Today exclusive, from Universal Pictures' James Brown biopic, Get on Up.

The story 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 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.

"I told everybody, 'Look, James was a control freak, and even though he's not with us, there's no way he wouldn't be a part of his movie," Taylor says, as a reason for the 4th wall choice.

Lennie JamesNelsan EllisJill ScottDan AykroydKeith RobinsonCraig RobinsonRalph TresvantTika Sumpter and Dan Aykroyd round out the cast.

Universal has set the film's release date for August 1, 2014, which isn't too far away (5 months from now); so I expect a first trailer/teaser to surface soon.

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.

Get Up On It
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Get Up On It
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This article is related to: Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Nelsan Ellis, Jill Scott, Lennie James, Craig Robinson


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