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Lennie James Will Play James Brown's Father In Biopic Starring Chadwick Boseman

by Natasha Greeves
October 23, 2013 12:48 PM
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Lennie James

Universal has set the theatrical release date for its James Brown biopic, titled Get On Up, for FridayOctober 172014.

Chadwick Boseman is playing Brown in the Tate Taylor-directed film.

Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer will reunite with their The Help director, to take supporting roles in the film, playing Susie Brown, James Brown's mother, and his aunt, Anne Tunney, respectively.

True Blood star, Nelsan Ellis most recently signed up to play Bobby Byrd, James Brown’s longtime friend and musical collaborator.

Today brings news that Lennie James (currently starring on AMC's Low Winter Sun) has joined the cast as well, to play James Brown’s father, Joseph James Brown, in the upcoming biopic. 

Shooting on the project begins this fall, with Brian Grazer producing alongside Mick Jagger, for Universal Pictures.

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

Promising a warts and all telling of Brown's life story on film, the screenplay was penned by Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth (they wrote the script for Fair Game, the Naomi Watts and Sean Penn film).

With this stellar cast, we can only assume that this will probably be an awards season contender in 2014/2015.
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  • irene chaffee | October 28, 2013 7:58 PMReply

    Wow.. This really caught my eye.. Lennie James playing the Godfather of Soul.. This is going to be great.. I have seen Lennie James in a number of roles and I must say he is an excellent actor with quite a range. Plus he has that spunk and brass that will really play well portraying James Brown.. Love that title too "Get On Up" .. Makes me want to dig out my James Brown albums right now!!

  • slb | October 23, 2013 1:15 PMReply

    With Nelsan Ellis AND Lennie James, this just got very interesting. Lennie James is a beast and Nelsan Ellis is a great actor who deserves more opportunities.

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