Chadwick Boseman James Brown
Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Universal is promising plenty of funk, singing, dancing and pathos with the first trailer for “Get on Up,” the James Brown biopic set for U.S. release on Aug. 1.

“42” star Chadwick Boseman (pictured) portrays the Godfather of Soul in the film that recounts his impoverished childhood, time in prison and ascendancy to super-stardom. The story also follows Brown’s mother, played by Viola Davis, who abandoned him at age 6, and his aunt (played by Octavia Spencer), who raised him in a brothel.

“What have you heard is only the beginning,” the trailer promises.

Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins are producing for Imagine Entertainment, while Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman are producing under their Jagged Films banner.

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