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Chadwick Boseman "Mesmerizes" As James Brown In 'Get On Up' Footage + Ralph Tresvant As Sam Cooke?

by Tambay A. Obenson
March 5, 2014 3:15 PM
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It's double-up Wednesday, with first footage showing Andre Benjamin as Jimi Hendrix in All Is By My Side (HERE if you missed it) and now first footage with Chadwick Boseman as James Brown in the upcoming Universal Pictures' biopic titled Get on Up, directed by The Help's Tate Taylor, and produced by Brian Grazer and Mick Jagger.

The footage comes courtesy of the Today morning show, in an interview with producers Grazer and Jagger, as well as star Boseman, who discuss the project, as footage of Boseman as Brown is intercut throughout. 

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, which promises a "warts and all" telling of Brown's life story on film, boasts an impressive cast which includes Viola Davis (Brown's mom), Octavia Spencer (Brown's aunt), Lennie James (Brown's father), Nelsan Ellis (Bobby Byrd), and others.

Jill ScottDan AykroydKeith Robinson also feature, and, based on the video below, Craig Robinson is also in the film (there wasn't an official announcement on his attachment). IMDBPro states that he's playing Maceo Parker. Ralph Tresvant (of New Edition fame) is also listed in the credits, playing Sam Cooke. And Tika Sumpter is Yvonne Fair, who performed with Brown early in his career.

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.

Check out the footage below, as Boseman shows us he can move just like James Brown. Even director Tate Taylor shares just how mesmerized he's been with Boseman's performance, adding that, sometimes he forgets to say "cut" after a scene is shot, because of how impressive Boseman is in the role. So might we be calling him "Oscar nominee Chadwick Boseman" about a year from now? Look at what Taylor was able to do for Octavia Spencer in The Help.

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  • SAVANNAH MORGAN | March 7, 2014 12:03 PMReply

    SLB nothing but love for ya! But you feeling me tho", no one not including the cast, studio anyone thought that the brutha who penned... wait for it:

    1. I don't want nobody to get me nothin, open up the door I'll get it myself.
    2. I don't know Karate, but I know... (you finish it)
    3. It's a Man's Man's Man's World- to co-write & sing that as a black man barely 2 yrs from the passage of the Civil Rights Act... that comes from a place not everyone can tap into.
    4. And the Coup de grace' SAY IT LOUD "I'M BLACK AND I'M PROUD!

    was deserving of a story written by ppl who can't even begin to to understand what it must of been like for an orphaned, reformed school, barely 5'8 foot tall black man with this immeasurable talent to write some of the most racially & sexually charged music of the 60's... I'm going to stop writing I'm getting worked up.

    Look I was watching RAY again, just recently, and really blown away by some of James White's dialogue especially the scenes with Jamie & Kerry "where was I going to find another Ray Robinson"... something about those scenes between he and her (another- when Margie died ohhhh the subtext & layers of that scene) the authenticity... I shutter to think if some twenty something yr old *ahem* caucasian writer who can nail structure and dialogue but lacks the experience or exposure, had been given the opportunity to write FADE IN instead of Jimmy White.

    Don't believe me read the screenplay to THE BUTLER.

  • SAVANNAH MORGAN | March 7, 2014 10:06 AMReply

    Ahhh CareyCarey since you compelled me to voice my thoughts here we go:

    1. SLB- Let me be the 1st to say I do have a bit of distrust and bitterness towards the fact that no AFRICAN AMERICANS were involved in the creative development of this movie. So there I said it. When Black writers are sought after to write a Schindler's List then I will be less offended by the fact we aren't telling our OWN STORIES!! NO WRITER, NO DIRECTOR, NO PRODUCERS!!!

    I was going to write a most informative argument but you know what... I think I'm just going to "sit in the cut", and wait for at least a trailer but as of now... "I'm just tired of being sick and tired."

  • CC | March 7, 2014 11:50 AM

    SLB, make no mistake about it, they get it, it's gold in them der stories.

    As you said, those figures... those stories, meant much more to us than they can even imagine, or care to speak on. So we get the white version that will appeal to, and appease, the white audience. And btw, lets throw in some popular black actors to promote the poppycock and soothe the pain.

  • slb | March 7, 2014 11:26 AM

    My comment was a little tongue in cheek. But I agree, "I'm just tired of being sick and tired" also. Hollywood seems to not notice this is what's going on. They continue to have white writers, directors, and producers create movies based on Black figures that were giants in our community. I dare say that James Brown meant a WHOLE lot more to Black folks than to white people or the world at large. Why shouldn't we have substantive say in how that story is told? Hollywood just doesn't get it and I doubt they ever will.

  • CareyCarey | March 7, 2014 11:11 AM

    "I'm just tired of being sick and tired."

    There it is! And, although I entertain myself by calling out these preposterous "biopics", sometime I just throw my hands in the air because money rules in the end. Aside from that, it appears many blacks find absolutely nothing wrong this-->" telling our OWN STORIES!! NO WRITER, NO DIRECTOR, NO PRODUCERS!!!" Check it out...

    "Get on Up, which promises a "warts and all" telling of Brown's life story on film So might we be calling him "Oscar nominee Chadwick Boseman" about a year from now? Look at what Taylor was able to do for Octavia Spencer in The Help." <----They suck that up as if we're talking about grandma's homemade biscuits & syrup. Yum-yum, a tell all story (WARTS AND ALL) about a loved black musical icon, told from the perspective of money grubbing white men. Yeah Savannah, I too am tired of being sick and tired of this mess.

  • donnyhathawaylives | March 6, 2014 9:09 PMReply

    That boy is STIFF. Oh the horror.

  • truthis | March 6, 2014 9:07 PMReply

    If they are already doing revisions of history in the press leading up to the movie about its original inception and the steps they have taken to get this far, I SHUDDER at the thought of what revisions of history will take place DURING the film. Prepare for about 20 minutes of James Brown trying to make it from Georgia, 20 minutes of James Brown on top of the world, about 10 minutes of black and proud James, and about 1 HOUR MORE of James Brown smoking crack, bedding women, and in high speed chases with the police and prison.

  • truthis | March 6, 2014 9:03 PMReply

    Truth is, they used Spike Lee to get the rights and then unceremoniously fired him because he did not agree with the direction they were taking the picture. So to recap, they FIRE Spike Lee, the director of "Malcolm X", and long-time friend of James Brown when he was ALIVE, and instead op to go with a newbie director, whose greatest claim to fame is making a film about Black Maids. Prepare to witness a TRAVESTY.

  • Knowledge1701 | July 24, 2014 9:53 PM

    Your right TruthIS, that exactly what happen with Spike Lee, problem is the movie really looks good from the trailers

  • YOUR TV STEALER | March 6, 2014 8:14 PMReply

    YASSS for that smile and laugh, Chadwick. Haaaayyyyyyy :)

  • SAVANNAH MORGAN | March 6, 2014 11:25 AMReply

    *CUES CareyCarey* grabs Popcorn while I wait for his commentary!!

  • CareyCarey | March 7, 2014 6:52 AM

    Ooh, that's so sweat... you make a brotha feel real good... whatsup girl,

    I'm laughing to myself because I knew someone would call my name on this one... and show-nuff... here comes one of my favorite readers, Miss Morgan :-)

    I know, I know, I've ran my mouth excessively (negatively) on this biopic when it first hit... so now it's time for my best shot, huh. Well Ms Morgan, backatcha, your show me yours and I'll show mine. You know how we do it... come on, your move, you start the entertainment and I'll roll with ya.

    Wait a minute, you could be lovin' this... hummmm?

  • Ava | March 5, 2014 9:11 PMReply

    When I see Mick Jagger sitting in that chair, all I can think of is that passage I read about him in Julia Phillips' memoir You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again when she talked about how tiny Mick Jagger is. I think she even describes a moment when he was sitting down and got out of a chair and she was floored by how small in stature he actually was. In that Today Show interview, for some reason, I immediately noticed that his chair was raised in contrast to his interviewer who had a lower seat. It all struck me as somewhat comical.
    Don't ask me why I notice the things I do or what made me think of that.

  • slb | March 5, 2014 7:27 PMReply

    Is this where I leave my "Why do white people continue to tell our stories? Why can't we tell our own stories?" comment?

  • because.... | March 6, 2014 9:12 PM

    The Global System of White Supremacy is REAL. That is why. They cannot have positive Black Role Models in film. Hell! These youths might actually wanna put down the guns and get organized. Keep the slave movies, new-aged "black-faced" movies (I see you Zoe Saldana, I ride for you Nina Simone) and revision/destruction of our heroes movies coming, and these Knee-grows will keep on lining up to act in them instead of establishing their own studios.

  • LFleming | March 5, 2014 6:57 PMReply

    yep they get started and take flight!....rumors that is. EARTOTHEFLOOR thx for the 411.

  • cinexa | March 5, 2014 4:36 PMReply

    Didnt James Brown do a "Pullman" bond offering like David Bowie years ago to get some upfront cash for his catalog?

  • darralynn | March 5, 2014 4:02 PMReply

    am i the only one that didn't know that Mick Jagger had the rights to James Browns songs?

  • eartothefloor | March 5, 2014 5:03 PM

    I GUESS I see why you were confused by what the reporter said. That's not what he meant, however. Grazer had the movie rights and had been trying to produce it for years, dating back to before JB's death. The movie rights also included the rights to use the music. Mick Jagger was inspired to join Grazer as a producing partner after JB's death. Jagger never had any rights to JB's music. And Grazer had no rights to JB's music outside of the production of the film. Damn, how rumors get started.

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