Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Brown biopic coming from Spike

I would normally be saying "Can't we at least let the body get cold first?", but this news is so good I just have to say bring it on.

Not one to miss a golden opportunity, Spike Lee has apparently signed on to write and direct a feature on the life of James Brown for Paramount and Imagine Entertainment. The pic could be in production by late next year, though 2008 is more likely. Very importantly, the deal includes access to all of Brown's music catalog.

Now that's what I'm talking about. I think I'm just about the only person who was left scratching their head at the end of "Inside Man" and wondering out loud "just what the hell was all that?" I'd never paint Spike into a corner, but writing and directing a project he's passionate about, not being a hired hand on a polished genre pic, is where we clearly need him.

And with what he has on his plate now, this could truly be his golden age. Anyone who's seen "Malcolm X" knows that, with a stern editor, he clearly has the skills to take on the complicated life led by James Brown. I just managed to see his "When the Levees Broke," which will surely appear on my top 10 list for 2006 (when I finally get around to writing it), so I can attest that he is in top form right now.

Even better in all this news is that any silly "Inside Man" sequel has apparently been pushed onto a way-back burner. Before the Brown biopic, his next project will be a flick about the L.A. riots (Rodney King, not Watts.) Hopefully by the time these wrap he'll have forgotten all about "Inside Man," though it sure would be nice to see him work with Mr. Washington again.

The burning question in my mind now, however, is just who in the world could play the Godfather of Soul? After several minutes I could only come up with one name: Larenz Tate. He's been toiling in subpar movies and lots of TV for years since the great "Dead Presidents," but every time I see him he has a genuine fire that just might work here. Eddie Murphy would surely be eager to get on board, and I could see that working too. Who could you see pulling this off? And, perhaps more importantly, should anyone? Please feel free to sound off, and have an entirely bearable Wednesday.


james higham said...

Larenz Tate - I can't see your dust, man.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree, while Mr. Dynamite hasn't been gone from this world very long, this is good news. I've always been a fan of Spike Lee's, and Malcolm X proves he can handle biopics. As to who could play the Godfather of Soul, I'd have to go with Larenz Tate as well. I can't think of anyone else who would quite do the role justice.

Reel Fanatic said...

It would have to be more than one person I'd imagine, Mercurie, but as for the young man, no one else entered my mind as the day went on

Anonymous said...

I don't know if I'm drunk, but what about Denzel?

Reel Fanatic said...

Even if you are intoxicated, Emma, I think Denzel would make a pretty solid choice for the older Mr. Brown ... I don't know if he'd be able to pull off the vocal work, but then again no one probably can.