Universal has officially named and scheduled the James Brown biopic, set to be directed by “The Help” director Tate Taylor. The film “Get On Up,” likely inspired by Brown’s 1970 track, “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine,” and has scheduled it for a theatrical release date of Friday, October 17, 2014.
Universal asserted the film will “give a fearless look inside the music, moves and moods of Brown, taking audiences on the journey from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.”
Earlier this week, Chadwick Boseman was cast to play Brown, his second real-life public icon role after starring as Jackie Robinson in Brian Helgeland’s “42.” There are rumors that Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer could be reuniting to help their former director with yet-to-be-announced supporting roles in the film. “True Blood” star, Nelsan Ellis is also said to be in talks for a supporting role.
The “Get On Up“ screenplay has been written by “Fair Game” scribes Jez & John-Henry Butterworth. Filming is expected to begin this fall in Mississippi. Spike Lee was originally attached to direct the film before Executive Producer Brian Grazer replaced him with Taylor, in effect securing a pair of white writers, producers and a white director to tell the Godfather of Soul’s story.
But that’s Hollywood for ya.