Tate Taylor is set to work with someone new – 42’s Chadwick Boseman – on the James Brown biopic Get On Up. But he’s recruiting some old friends to co-star, signing up The Help’s Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for supporting roles.
Boseman, of course, will play the Godfather of Soul, in a film that charts his early days in poverty in Georgia and his rise to become a world famous soul musician. Davis will play his mother, Susie Brown, who gave birth to James when she was 16, and abandoned him to live with relatives. Despite Davis’ clear acting skills, it seems likely we’ll be seeing her as an older version of Susie. Spencer, who won an Oscar for her turn as Minny in The Help, will be Brown’s Aunt Honey, a key figure in the young man’s upbringing.
With a script in hand from Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth, Taylor is scheduled to start shooting this November in Mississippi. If the director and his two actresses don’t start walking round the set shouting “Team Help!” in the style of Arrested Development’s Steve Holt, we’ll be very disappointed.