The James Brown biopic casting rumors suggesting Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer would reunite with Tate Taylor, director of “The Help,” for the film chronicling the life of the ‘Godfather of Soul,’ have been confirmed.
Universal officially announced today that both actresses will indeed appear in the film recently titled “Get On Up,” with Viola Davis playing Susie Brown, James Brown’s mother; and Octavia Spencer will play his aunt, Anne Tunney.
The two actresses join Chadwick Boseman, who is set to play Brown in the film — which the studio promises 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.” True Blood star, Nelsan Ellis, was also rumored to be in talks for a role, but no confirmation has been announced yet.
The “Get On Up“ screenplay has been written by “Fair Game” scribes Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, with Grazer producing alongside Mick Jagger. Filming is expected to begin this fall in Mississippi, at the Mississippi Coliseum on the state fairgrounds where Brown performed a concert in February 1969.
Spike Lee was originally slated to direct the film before executive producer Brian Grazer replaced him with Taylor earlier this year.
Universal scheduled the release date for the James Brown biopic for Friday, October 17, 2014.