A series based on the life of music icon Rick James is in the works at Universal Content Productions (UCP).
The series is currently titled “Super Freak.” It is described as a funkadelic mix of music biopic and true crime, chronicling James’ plans for a comeback in the early 1990s amidst a heated trial that threatened to destroy his legacy.
No network or streaming service is currently attaced to the series, which will be written and executive produced by Randy McKinnon. McKinnon’s past credits include shows like “Chambers,” and “Grand Army.” He is also set to adapt the memoir “Notes From a Young Black Chef” as a feature starring Lakeith Stanfield.
McKinnon is repped by Grandview and Jackoway Tyerman.
Ty James, Rick’s daughter, will also executive produce, along with Mike Sager. Sager first met Rick while writing a profile on him for Rolling Stone titled “The Rise and Fall of a Super Freak.” The two remained friends until Rick’s death in 2004. Nick Antosca will executive produce via Eat the Cat, which is currently under an overall deal at UCP.
Ty James is repped by attorney Robert S. Besser.
“We are truly ecstatic about this new project with UCP and extremely excited to work with the writer Randy McKinnon,” Ty said. “We are confident he can give the fans exactly what they have been waiting on, plus some. This will be a magic carpet ride, with ups and downs, joys and pain — a story of perseverance and tenacity, with the music being the greatest navigation system. Get ready for the ride of your lives — the story of James A. Johnson, AKA Rick James!”
Antosca is quickly becoming an institution at UCP, having previously co-created the hit Hulu series “The Act.” He is also currently working on the UCP shows “Candy” starring Elisabeth Moss and a series about the kidnapping of Jan Broberg.
UCP is also developing shows based on real life like the announced Little Rock Nine series from Seth Macfarlane and the late Chadwick Boseman and a series about the Michelle Carter texting suicide case starring Elle Fanning.