Chadwick Boseman, has made quite the name for himself as a bit player in television for years now. But 2013 saw him breakout into the film world, starring as famed Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson in the crowd-pleasing hit, 42. The movie was a sleeper hit this past spring and yea, a little hammy at times, but Boseman provided a shining and powerful center to a film that had a difficult time figuring out what it was really trying to say about the legendary Hall of Fame second baseman.
Boseman, 31, has officially broken into the big leagues of Hollywood as it were. Today, Variety announced that Boseman had been cast in Tate Taylor‘s (The Help) upcoming James Brown project. Boseman is a very charismatic actor and a presence on-screen. His performance as Jackie Robinson was appropriately big and at times a little over the top and that’s why I think he will be right at home in Taylor’s new film.
James Brown was a monolithic pop culture character. The man exuded charisma, style, attitude and funk. Boseman has demonstrated that he can play difficult, larger-than-life roles and this seems like the right progression for him.
The site also reports that The Help and Taylor alumni Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis and Nelsan Ellis were in the running to play supporting roles (Brown had so many ladies in his life I wouldn’t be surprised if Davis and Spencer played two of his three wives). The site is quick to report that as of now, no offers have gone out or been made official, but its hard to picture Davis and Spencer turning down the opportunity to work with Taylor again and in a film that will undoubted test every actor involved in terms of matching what Boseman puts up on screen.
Music will hopefully (obviously?) play a huge role in the film and its unknown if Boseman will have the chops (a la Jamie Foxx in Ray) to sing Browns many hits like “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”, “I Got You (I Feel Good)”, “Superbad”, “Funky President” and “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World”. Only time will tell, it seems.
In a fun little twist, Mick Jagger (yes, THE Mick Jagger) will be producing the film along with Brian Grazer, Eric Huggins and Taylor himself. Jagger and his Rolling Stones bandmate, Keith Richards are both set to make appearances in the film.
Whatever ends up being in this film, I hope to the Godfather himself, Lord rest his soul, that this scene is recreated with fine attention to detail.
The yet to be titled film is set to start production in Mississippi soon, so official casting news can be expected before then.
Boseman is currently filming Draft Day with Kevin Costner.
“Ted, where you at?!?!”