Boat Rocker Studios and Shamier Anderson and Stephan James’ Bay Mills Studios are teaming to co-produce a limited series about the life of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
James is attached to star in the untitled series, which would be set in 1980s New York City. It will showcase the rise of Basquiat, from an obscure graffiti artist to a Neo-expressionist painter of rockstar status. It will also explore Basquiat’s close friendship with Andy Warhol and his ultimate demise.
“We’re grateful to be working with Shamier, Stephan, and the entire Bay Mills Studios team to tell the story of a visionary artist whose profound cultural influence only continues to grow with time,” said Steve Lescroart, president of scripted for Boat Rocker Studios. “We know that audiences around the world will be captivated.”
The search is currently on for a writer for the project. Katie O’Connell Marsh and Nick Nantell will executive produce for Boat Rocker, with and Anderson and James executive producing for Bay Mills. Holly Hubsher is overseeing the project for Bay Mills. Bay Mills is currently under a first-look deal with Boat Rocker.
“I am thrilled to partner with Boat Rocker to bring to life the story of Jean-Michel Basquiat,” James said. “Jean-Michel is an artist I have long revered, and someone who has greatly influenced my work over the years. To embody such a revolutionary, whose influence in the modern era of pop culture is simply immeasurable, will simply be one of the greatest honors of my career.”
James’ recent major TV roles include “Homecoming” at Amazon, “#FreeRayshawn” for Quibi, and “Shots Fired” at Fox. His work in “#FreeRayshawn” earned him an Emmy nomination for best actor in a short-form series. He will also star in the upcoming Spectrum Originals/AMC series “Beacon 23,” which is being co-produced by Boat Rocker.
James is repped by CAA, Range Media Partners, Norbert Abrams, and attorney Jeff Bernstein.