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Universal's James Brown Biopic Gets An Official Title And Release Date - Chadwick Boseman Stars

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 29, 2013 at 11:45AM

Universal has set the theatrical release date for its James Brown biopic for Friday, October 17, 2014.
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James Brown in Alex Gibney's "Mr. Dynamite."
James Brown in Alex Gibney's "Mr. Dynamite."

Universal has set the theatrical release date for its James Brown biopic for Friday, October 17, 2014.

In addition, it's also given the film an official title. It'll be called Get On Up, likely as a nod to Brown's 1970 track, Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine.

Universal further says the film will "give a fearless look inside the music, moves and moods of Brown, taking audiences on the journey from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century."

Chadwick Boseman is set to play Brown in the Tate Taylor directed film, with talk that Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer could be reuniting with their The Help director, with supporting roles in the film.

Also True Blood star, Nelsan Ellis, is said to be in Taylor's sights for a supporting role.

No word yet, however, on what roles Davis, Spencer and Ellis are being considered for.

Taylor previously announced plans to begin shooting his James Brown biopic this fall, with Brian Grazer producing alongside Mick Jagger, for 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 earlier this year.

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. 

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...

This article is related to: Chadwick Boseman


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