’42’ Star Chadwick Boseman to Play James Brown (EXCLUSIVE)

Universal has greenlit the film to be produced by Brian Grazer

Universal and Imagine Entertainment have greenlit the long-gestating James Brown biopic after tapping “42” star Chadwick Boseman to play the legendary artist known as the “godfather of soul.”

“The Help” director Tate Taylor is helming the pic with Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins producing along with Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman under their Jagged Films banner. Trish Hofmann and Peter Afterman will exec produce.

Jez and John Henry Butterworth penned the script.

Pic follows Brown’s rise from extreme poverty in Georgia to becoming a world famous and highly influential R&B musician with a string of hits in the 1960s and ’70s including “Please, Please, Please,” “I Got You (I Feel Good),” “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and many others. Brown died in 2006 at age 73.

Co-President of Production Peter Cramer and Vice President of Production Maradith Frenkel will oversee the project for Universal.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and Taylor announced today that the a lot of the film would be shot in Mississippi.

Grazer has been trying to make a Brown biopic for more than a decade. The project gained momentum after Taylor boarded the project. The studio has been working out budget issues while meeting with prospective thesps to play Brown.

Several actors were vying for the role, but Boseman emerged as the top choice a few weeks ago, though no offer could be made until the pic was formally greenlit.

Boseman will be seen next in Summit’s NFL pic “Draft Day” starring Kevin Costner.

He is repped by Greene and Associates and Management 360.

More Film

  • Disney Appoints Carol Choi as Korea

    Disney Appoints Carol Choi as Korea GM

    Universal and Imagine Entertainment have greenlit the long-gestating James Brown biopic after tapping “42” star Chadwick Boseman to play the legendary artist known as the “godfather of soul.” “The Help” director Tate Taylor is helming the pic with Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins producing along with Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman under their Jagged […]

  • DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER

    Dubai: Festival President Abdulhamid Juma on Growing The Market and Opening to TV

    Universal and Imagine Entertainment have greenlit the long-gestating James Brown biopic after tapping “42” star Chadwick Boseman to play the legendary artist known as the “godfather of soul.” “The Help” director Tate Taylor is helming the pic with Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins producing along with Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman under their Jagged […]

  • oprah actors on actors

    Oprah Winfrey to Receive 2018 Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 75th Annual Golden Globes (Watch)

    Universal and Imagine Entertainment have greenlit the long-gestating James Brown biopic after tapping “42” star Chadwick Boseman to play the legendary artist known as the “godfather of soul.” “The Help” director Tate Taylor is helming the pic with Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins producing along with Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman under their Jagged […]

  • Kevin Hart Great Outdoors

    Film News Roundup: Kevin Hart Boards Action-Comedy 'On the Run' at Universal

    Universal and Imagine Entertainment have greenlit the long-gestating James Brown biopic after tapping “42” star Chadwick Boseman to play the legendary artist known as the “godfather of soul.” “The Help” director Tate Taylor is helming the pic with Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins producing along with Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman under their Jagged […]

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    AMC Adding Late-Night Screenings for 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

    Universal and Imagine Entertainment have greenlit the long-gestating James Brown biopic after tapping “42” star Chadwick Boseman to play the legendary artist known as the “godfather of soul.” “The Help” director Tate Taylor is helming the pic with Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins producing along with Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman under their Jagged […]

  • Donald Trump 'Mentally Unfit' to Be

    Donald Trump Is 'Mentally Unfit' to Be U.S. President, Rob Reiner Says

    Universal and Imagine Entertainment have greenlit the long-gestating James Brown biopic after tapping “42” star Chadwick Boseman to play the legendary artist known as the “godfather of soul.” “The Help” director Tate Taylor is helming the pic with Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins producing along with Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman under their Jagged […]

  • Tiffany Haddish Girls Trip

    Tiffany Haddish Joins Ike Barinholtz in Satirical Thriller 'The Oath'

    Universal and Imagine Entertainment have greenlit the long-gestating James Brown biopic after tapping “42” star Chadwick Boseman to play the legendary artist known as the “godfather of soul.” “The Help” director Tate Taylor is helming the pic with Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins producing along with Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman under their Jagged […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content