42 star Chadwick Boseman to play Godfather of Soul James Brown in biopic produced by Brian Grazer

42 star Chadwick Boseman to play Godfather of Soul James Brown in biopic produced by Brian Grazer


If you saw 42 earlier this year, you should be familiar with actor Chadwick Boseman (who played Jackie Robinson in the film). Boseman is a relatively new face to Hollywood, but he’s already chalked up the honor of playing a major real-life sports figure, and now he’s tapped to play one of the biggest names in the music industry. Uber-producer Brian Grazer has been trying to make a James Brown biopic for almost a decade now, even collaborating with Brown before he died in 2006 at the age of 73. Now he’s got his star in Boseman, who will play The Godfather of Soul. The Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger will co-produce with Grazer for Universal, though the title has not yet be determined. Variety broke the story, and this news means the project is now expected to be considered a go. The film’s screenplay is by FAIR GAME‘s Jez & John-Henry Butterworth, and THE HELP director Tate Taylor in set to be behind the camera. The movie was discussed last year in October, referenced as “a young boy’s rise from extreme poverty and violence to become The Godfather of Soul, one of the most influential black artists in history whose career spanned six decades.” Boseman is said to have beat out a large number of potential candidates for the role. James Brown’s widow Tommie Rae Brown was quoted to say:

I am deeply honored that Mick Jagger and Brian Grazer, two of my husband James Brown’s favorite people, have entered into a partnership to bring his inspirational story to the big screen.

And co-producer Mick Jagger was quoted to say the following:

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.

What do you think of this casting news? Are you ready for a James Brown biopic? Tell us in the comments below.

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About the Author

Born and raised in Dallas, Mark has been a movie critic since 1994, with reviews featured in print, radio and National TV. In 2001 he started the Entertainment section of the Herorealm website, where he contributed film reviews and celebrity interviews until 2004. After three years of service there, he started Bigfanboy.com, which has become one of the Dallas film community's leading information websites. Bigfanboy hosts several movie screenings in the Texas area, and works closely with film and TV studios and promotional partners to host exciting events and contests. The site also features a variety of rare celebrity and filmmaker interviews, and Bigfanboy.com regularly covers the film festival circuit as well. In addition to Hollywood reporting, Mark has worked for many years as an advertising and sci-fi/comic book artist. Clients have included Lucasfilm Ltd., Topps Trading Cards, The Dallas Mavericks and The Dallas Stars. From 2002 until 2015 he managed the Dallas Comic Con, Sci-Fi Expo and Fan Days events in the DFW area. He currently catalogs rare comic books and movie memorabilia for Heritage Auctions, and runs the Dallas Comic Show conventions, but remains an avid moviegoer and cinema buff.