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Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Nelsan Ellis All Eyed For Roles In James Brown Biopic

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 27, 2013 at 9:42AM

Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer could be reuniting with their The Help director, Tate Taylor, in his James Brown biopic, which, yesterday, booked Chadwick Boseman in the starring role.
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Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer

Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer could be reuniting with their The Help director, Tate Taylor, in his James Brown biopic, which, yesterday, booked Chadwick Boseman in the starring role

This according to The Wrap, who also say that True Blood star, Nelsan Ellis, is also in Taylor's sights for a supporting role.

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

Nelsan Ellis

Taylor 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 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.

This article is related to: Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Nelsan Ellis, Chadwick Boseman


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