Jill Scott and Dan Aykroyd have joined that cast of Universal’s James Brown biopic, titled Get On Up, which is currently set for a Friday, October 17, 2014 release.
Scott will play James Brown’s wife, although we don’t yet know which wife that will be, as Brown married 3 different times: Velma Warren, in 1953. Deidre Jenkins, in 1970. And Adrienne Lois Rodriguez in 1984.
And since the film is supposed to cover roughly 30 years of his life – from his humble beginnings in the early 1950s, to his peak years in the 1970s, to his struggles with addiction, and domestic violence, and eventually near-financial ruin in the 1980s – she really could be playing any one of the 3. Although it’ll likely be one of the first two.
Dan Aykroyd will play the president of Universal Attractions, at one time one of New York’s largest agencies. The agency represented Jame Brown for over 40 years.
Chadwick Boseman is playing Brown in the Tate Taylor-directed film.
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer will reunite with their The Help director, to take supporting roles in the film, playing Susie Brown, James Brown’s mother, and his aunt, Anne Tunney, respectively.
True Blood star, Nelsan Ellis most recently signed up to play Bobby Byrd, James Brown’s longtime friend and musical collaborator.
Shooting on the project begins this fall, with Brian Grazer producing alongside Mick Jagger, for Universal Pictures.
Taylor plans to shoot the film in Mississippi, including filming at the Mississippi Coliseum on the state fairgrounds, where Brown performed a concert in February 1969.
Promising a warts and all telling of Brown’s life story on film, the screenplay was penned by Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth (they wrote the script for Fair Game, the Naomi Watts and Sean Penn film).