I don't know how I missed this. I had no idea this was happening, but apparently, it's been in the works for a couple of years, since James Brown's death on Christmas Day, 2006!
Or maybe I knew, but it just floated further away from my mind for one reason or another. I even searched my blog to see if I had posted something about it previously, but found no such thing.
I must be slipping... or sleeping.
Anyway... I just read that Spike Lee and Paramount have a James Brown biopic in the works, which will star Wesley Snipes, as the godfather of soul. The project is said to have come together shortly after Brown died in 2006 of congested heart failure.
Wow! Wesley as J.B.? If there's one man/woman whom I think will make for a challenging project for any actor/actress, James Brown would be that person. His mannerisms, his speech, his onstage persona, all that energy, and flamboyancy. It's one of those performances that could fail as unintended comedy, if not handled with skill.
Sure, James Brown's public personality was worthy of an intended laugh, or two, or three, but he had a depth that balanced him out. It's evident in his music alone.
I fear a caricature of the man; I haven't seen Wesley in anything this demanding, and with "hit/miss" Spike at the helm, I'm a little skeptical.
BUT, I'm hopeful, and will keep my eyes and ears open for any information on this.
According to MTV News, Snipes will not be doing any real singing of James Browns songs. He'll be lip-syncing.
“We’re doing it together – it’s going to happen,” Lee told MTV News in an exclusive interview at the Sundance Film Festival this week. The Oscar nominated director of “Do the Right Thing” and “Inside Man” lavished praise on Snipes. “He’s my man,” Lee said; but when it comes to the vocals on Brown’s classic tracks like “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and “Get Up Offa That Thing,” expect to hear the authentic voice of James Brown being dubbed in.
“I want to hear James Brown’s voice,” the director said. “That’s just my personal taste.”
That's probably a smart decision on Spike's part.
I have no idea when the film starts shooting, or when it will be released. It doesn't even have an IMDB page. What the hell? Is this an early April Fool's prank?
Good to see Wesley returning to center-stage with probably his most challenging effort to date. Might we be talking about "award-winning actor" Wesley Snipes some time in the near future, following in the footsteps of Mickey Rourke?
via MTV MOVIES