Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority member Johnny Hensley has sent a letter to director Spike Lee inviting him to film parts of his upcoming James Brown biopic in the late entertainer’s hometown.
Mr. Hensley, chairman of the authority’s Marketing, Entertainment and Public Relations committee, sent the letter Monday.
“We, here in Augusta, have been VERY EXCITED to hear that you have the film rights to the James Brown bio/pic,” the letter says. “I spoke with our Mayor today, Deke Copenhaver, and we are totally in agreement that we here in the City of Augusta would and WILL do anything in our power to assist you and your company in any production requirements you may have that we can facilitate. That includes, but not limited to, locations shots and the use of the James Brown Arena, which, of course, was named in the Godfather’s honor.”
Mr. Hensley said he would hate to see the movie filmed elsewhere, which could be done without audiences knowing the difference.
“I think it would be a big plus for them to say, ‘Filmed on location in Augusta’,” Mr. Hensley said. “Wouldn’t that be tremendous?”
Mr. Lee bought the movie rights after Mr. Brown’s death in 2006. He’s since said Wesley Snipes will star, with Mr. Brown’s voice used in music numbers.