42 star to play James Brown in long-gestating biopic


“42” star Chadwick Boseman will play the godfather of soul James Brown in a biopic that’s been in development for over a decade.

Brian Grazer’s untitled biopic, in the works since 2011, once had both Eddie Murphy and Wesley Snipes interested, with Spike Lee at one stage wanting to direct.

The Boseman news comes from The Hollywood Reporter, with The Wrap adding that Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Nelsan Ellis are being eyed for supporting roles.

The new incarnation has Tate Taylor (“The Help”) attached to direct and produce, alongside Imagine’s Grazer (“The Da Vinci Code”) and Erica Huggins and Jagged Films’ Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman. Jez and John-Henry Butterworth (“Fair Game”) wrote the screenplay.