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James Brown Biopic Planned
By Spike Lee and Brian Grazer

27 December 2006  |  Written by   |  Source: Variety

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He was the Godfather of Soul, a legend for half his lifetime, and one of the greatest showmen the world has ever seen. James Brown died on Christmas Day 2006 at the age of 73 of pneumonia in a Georgia Hospital, having been working and performing right up until the end. But two of his biggest fans, Spike Lee and Brian Grazer, today revealed that they're planning to make a biopic of his life, with Grazer producing and Lee wielding the megaphone.

But wait! Before you shout, "Have you no respect for the dead?" hold on just a cotton-pickin' minute. This is no attempt to cash in on a man's death. This is a project that's been in the works for some time - Brown himself worked with original screenwriter Steve Baigelman (the writer and director of Feeling Minnesota), and with Jezz and John Henry Butterworth (upcoming Nicole Kidman project Headhunters), who turned in the most recent draft. But today's news, that Spike Lee plans to direct, means that he's going to take another pass at the script before the film goes into production.

And don't expect to see this baby terribly soon. Lee has his bound-to-be-controversial LA riots film next on his slate, followed by an Inside Man sequel, both of which Grazer is also producing. In fact, the Brown film isn't expected to go into production until 2008, so we'll have to wait to see the ups and downs of the Godfather's turbulent career (he served prison sentences for theft and drug offences, spent a brief time as a boxer and a baseball pitcher, was married four times and never learned how to read music). Since the rights to his life story include the rights to his music, one thing's for sure - it's going to sound fantastic.

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Your Comments

RE: Spike Lee
Duplicate post More

Posted by Companero at 13:39 on 08 January 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Spike Lee
Duplicate post. More

Posted by Companero at 13:37 on 08 January 2007 | Report This Post

RE: Spike Lee
Spike Lee is an fascinating filmmaker; even the films that don't work (SHE HATE ME, GIRL 6 instantly spring to mind) are interesting. Who care if he's linked to the majority of African-American projects and at the end of the day, why shouldn't he? He's an exceptionally good AMERICAN filmmaker who happens to be black - there's no agenda at play, as far as I can see. Considering how integral the use of music (particularly that of his father Bill Lee or Terence Blanchard) is to Lee's films, I'm More

Posted by Companero at 13:37 on 08 January 2007 | Report This Post

Well bugger me backwards with a barge pole, i'm astonished. A biopic of a newly dead Musician? I'm so surprised you could fit a basketball in my mouth. Now all we need to do is knock off Bob Dylan and Chuck Berry and let the Oscar race for 2008 begin.... More

Posted by bruised_blood at 18:23 on 30 December 2006 | Report This Post

RE: don't spike the guy
The poor guys not even cold yet. Talk about insensitive! More

Posted by Sutty at 16:45 on 29 December 2006 | Report This Post

RE: don't spike the guy
hell, what they gonna do? Film at his funeral?! At least wait until he's stopped breathing before they start filming, christ! And I agree with the Spike Lee thing. Why does his name HAVE to come up whenever a prominent African Amercian icon dies?? aha, they certainly don't piss about do they?  I suppose there was bound to be a biopic about him eventually, he was such a legend.  Look at the success Walk the Line and Ray made for instance (not to ment More

Posted by Super Hans at 12:29 on 29 December 2006 | Report This Post

don't spike the guy
It's too predictable and lazy to be jumping on the 'Spike Lee thing'. Face it - being one of the very few high profile directors who also happens to be black, it's inevetiable Lee is going to be linked with films about African American public figures - whether he wants to be or not. That said, whenever, or if ever, a film a about JB is eventually made I'm not really bothered whether Spike Lee directs it. Whoever takes on the mighty task I just hope they deliver like the great man did himself and More

Posted by Smokey Dog at 01:58 on 28 December 2006 | Report This Post

Gee what a surprise!!!
Another pic centered around the life of a flawed musician, I'm sure he has an interesting story to his life, but to be honest haven't we done this genre for the time being? We've had RAY, GREAT BALLS OF FIRE, WALK THE LINE, SID AND NANCY, LABAMBA, WHATS LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT, etc etc, and those were just the ones I could think of in a hurry, no to mention all the godawfull Elvis films that are kicking around. enough already give the man some peace for a while. More

Posted by boredbluekoala at 23:19 on 27 December 2006 | Report This Post

Fuckin hell, what they gonna do? Film at his funeral?! At least wait until he's stopped breathing before they start filming, christ! And I agree with the Spike Lee thing. Why does his name HAVE to come up whenever a prominent African Amercian icon dies?? More

Posted by pablohoolio at 23:04 on 27 December 2006 | Report This Post

Fast ai? Lee's a busy man too. More

Posted by doctorolorinbats1975 at 16:08 on 27 December 2006 | Report This Post

Why is it all films about black people have to have Spike Lee's name attatched to them, he even kicked up a stink when Mann got Ali More

Posted by CameronJames at 14:05 on 27 December 2006 | Report This Post

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