70-year-old ‘Godfather of Soul’ James Brown performs at the Royal Albert Hall July 13, 2003 in London. (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)
The long-awaited big screen biopic for the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, is finally picking up steam.
The project, which was originally linked to filmmaker Spike Lee, is now being helmed by Tate Taylor, director of The Help.
The film is being co-produced by Brian Grazer (Inside Man) and legendary Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger.
“It’s a great honor to be involved with a project as rich as the story of the legendary James Brown. He was a mesmerizing performer with a fascinating life,”said Jagger.
Both Eddie Murphy and Wesley Snipes have been floated as potential contenders for the lead role.
“There’s the most incredible script that Spike Lee worked on that has everything in it, but you have to get the rights from the people who have the rights to James’ story… and getting them all together… which makes it hard to come together… but I hope it comes together… it’s a great, great piece,” said Murphy on Black Tree TV.
“We’re going to start casting and we’re going to have to test lots of actors and be determined to pick the right one,” Grazer said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “No movie starts in a day. I’ve never loved a subject and not made the movie. Friday Night Lights took 13 years. American Gangster took seven or eight.”
“I had the rights for a very long time, from about 12 years ago. I was really determined to do it for a variety of reasons. I had Al Sharpton as a consultant for a minute,” he added. “I put a lot of effort into it and a substantial amount of my own money into it, $2 million. And when James Brown died, the rights became more complicated, and I lost them.”
According to Grazer the film will focus on Brown’s late 30s, but also will cover the various highlights and pitfalls of his remarkable career as a soul singer.
“In our first draft, we had 30 performance pieces,” revealed Grazer.