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10/22/2012

Tate Taylor to direct long-brewing James Brown biopic



Uber-producer Brian Grazer has been trying to get a biopic on the "Godfather of Soul" James Brown off the ground since 2006, not long after the funk legend died. Along the way it's gone through a number of iterations that never stuck, primarily with Spike Lee as director who wanted Wesley Snipes to make his great comeback in the lead role. Eh, not so much for that one. Spike is out if he was ever truly in, and Grazer appears to have found his guy for the job.

The Help director Tate Taylor will take over as director, and they're getting a bit of producing muscle thanks to Mick Jagger coming aboard. Jagger's career was largely influenced by James Brown, so of course he'd want to be a part of something like this. Taylor has yet to really cash in on the success of his Best Picture-nominated civil rights dramedy, but this is a good way to do it in a major way. That's assuming it's next for him, of course. Right now there's no hint as to when filming could begin.

Chris Brown, Eddie Murphy, and Usher were listed by Brown's daughter as possibilities to star, but we have no idea if any of that still holds true. Probably not. Having seen the uproar from folks over Zoe Saldana's casting for the Nina Simone biopic, you can bet the Brown Estate is going to be cautious in their selection. [Deadline]