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James Brown Biopic Planned

By Spike Lee and Brian Grazer

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.