James Brown

Get On Up Trailer

Awwww yeah, things are about to get a little more funky up in here, everybody. The trailer for the long-gestating James Brown biopic, Get On Up (Can we be honest with each other, here? Maybe there could have been a better title besides reaching for a familiar song title), has landed and it’s exceedingly catchy. The story of the Godfather of Soul is apparently a comprehensive look at the legendary singer’s formative years up until the height of his success, and it’s not skimping out on any of the music that made the man so famous. The film, directed by The Help‘s Tate Taylor, stars Chadwick Boseman (42) as the titular soul man as he maneuvers through a rough childhood, time spent in jail and through all that fame business. Being a superstar is kind of a big part of this story, if you didn’t gather that on your own. The trailer touches on a part of the singer’s life that you might not have heard about: his volatile relationship with his mother (Viola Davis), who abandoned him at age six to leave him to be raised in a brothel with his aunt, played by Octavia Spencer.

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James Brown

Just like the man himself, Tate Taylor‘s James Brown film is quickly becoming the hardest-working biopic in show business. Early this week the film got a star and a green light. Then came the rumors that Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, and Nelsan Ellis would all be joining the supporting cast (although as of now, those three roles are still unconfirmed). And today marks the announcement of a title and release date. The title? Get On Up. The release date? October 17, 2014. Things are chugging along nicely for Get On Up, although we’ve still got no word about how Chadwick Boseman will be taking on the hefty singing and dancing duties of his starring role. There’s also been no mention of any prosthetics or makeup – if Boseman is going to be grafting anything onto his face to look more like the Godfather of Soul, or if he’ll just be Chadwick Boseman in a wig and the rest will be left to our imaginations. The fall release date does hint the powers that be at Universal (the studio releasing Get On Up) might be angling for the film to pull in a few statuettes come awards season. It’s not an insane idea. Tate’s last feature, The Help, won approximately a billion awards – the majority of them going to the film’s cast (which, not coincidentally, also featured Spencer and Davis). So long as Boseman gets the singing and dancing down pat, he might just have a shot.

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Chadwick Boseman

There have been rumblings of a James Brown biopic for more than a decade, but last night all those rumblings finally came together in a blast of furious funky fervor. Director Tate Taylor (of The Help) first joined the project almost two years ago, and now Variety is reporting that Chadwick Boseman, who recently played Jackie Robinson in 42, has been cast as the Godfather of Soul. Immediately afterwards, the film was greenlit. Immediately after that, Tate announced that the film would be shot in Mississippi (although Brown was born in South Carolina and raised in Georgia). The film will, like Ray and Walk the Line and so many other musician biopics before it, follow Brown’s impoverished childhood and rise to the top of the charts. So the James Brown movie is finally getting made. But, as with any on-screen portrayal of a musician, the question must be asked: will Boseman be singing, or will Brown’s vocals be piped in after the fact? There’s no answer yet, but I’d put my money on lip-synch. Brown’s infectious energy will be difficult enough to capture, and unlike Jamie Foxx or Joaquin Phoenix, Boseman will have to spend hours upon hours (upon weeks, upon months) mastering Brown’s fanciful footwork. That alone might get him some serious recognition. God forbid he uses any kind of foot double.

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James Brown

According to Deadline Hollywood, Tate Taylor (The Help) is in talks to take on the James Brown biopic that Brian Grazer has long wanted to make. If he signs on the dotted line, he’ll be joining an interesting production partner: Mick Jagger. The Hardest Working Man will be celebrated from his early beginnings in abject poverty to his rise on the global scene as a musical icon with a script comes from Jez and John-Henry Butterworth (Fair Game) who are no strangers to telling real-world stories. Hundreds of Brown’s songs have appeared in movies – making his impact cross media – and he also acted, most notably in The Blues Brothers and (as himself) in Rocky IV. Beyond that, his legacy is unarguably titanic, a performer who spanned decades and audiences while making a heavy impact on popular culture. His story is one worth telling, so hopefully this group does it true justice. And now the usual question that comes with any biopic of someone this famous – who do you get to play him?

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a focused, coordinated strike upon the oppressive barrage of movie blogs who think you should really be reading 700 words on the latest third-tier casting rumors for the next Adam Shankman movie. We take all the interesting news and otherwise notable articles of the day and bring them together, in one place, where you can kick ass and gain knowledge quickly. It also includes some funny videos. Because everyone loves funny videos. With Jason Eisener’s Hobo with a Shotgun finally getting to theaters (and iTunes — go watch it!), Canuxploitation is on its way. To celebrate, Quiet Earth asked Canadian grindhouse cinema expert Paul Corupe to write of Canuxploitation’s weidest, wildest Canadian exploitation movies. Yes.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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