James Brown film in works

Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 1:16 PM
Last updated Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 1:32 AM
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Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer, Mick Jagger and The Help director Tate Taylor are joining forces to make a long-awaited biopic about Augusta music superstar James Brown, according to published reports and Brown family members.

No production details have been completed for a film documenting the life of Augusta area soul singer James Brown.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
No production details have been completed for a film documenting the life of Augusta area soul singer James Brown.

“It’s a great honor to be involved with a project as rich as the story of the legendary James Brown,” Jagger, the lead singer of the Rolling Stones, told Deadline magazine. “He was a mesmerizing performer with a fascinating life.”

The team has purchased rights from Brown’s estate to make the film and has “made it very clear they want to work with the family,” said Brown’s daughter Deanna Brown Thomas.

Her father had a relationship that began in the 1990s with Grazer, who founded Imagine with film director Ron Howard in 1986, but Brown didn’t want the movie made during his lifetime, his daughter said.

Though no production details have been completed,including the movie’s title and the actors to play Brown, Brown Thomas said she didn’t think it could be made without using sites around Augusta, North Augusta and Beech Island, where Brown lived and had headquarters for his businesses.

“I believe it’s going to be one of those films to impact future generations,” she said. “This is going to be one of those movies that lasts forever.”

Brown’s widow, Tomi Rae Brown, who is raising their 11-year-old son, James II, said Wednesday the film will be worth the long wait.

“It’s going to take as long as it takes to make the best possible picture about James Brown,” she said. “It’s not going to be done halfway, and the people who are doing it are not going to give up until it’s perfect.”

Brown Thomas told Deadline that her “father’s music has been a beacon to people all over the world, and now his life story will impact future generations and show why he is respected as the Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown.”

Brown Thomas heads the family foundation, which continues his charitable legacies of Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas toy giveaways for needy Augusta families, and she recently founded the James Brown Academy of Musik Pupils, which fosters musical talent to help kids “stay on the good foot.”

Brown Thomas said Wednesday the film will be a great thing for the area where Brown made his home.

“The CSRA can be proud,”
she said. “They have a national treasure that’s from this area, and now it’s going to be on the big screen for the world to see.”

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countyman 10/24/12 - 02:01 pm
This is the kind of national

This is the kind of national press Augusta can use.

OpenCurtain 10/24/12 - 05:09 pm
One great man

Some of us old enough to have met him knew him to be card and a half and joked around with him about the cape he used on stage.

But he had his serious sincere side.
Always handing out pocket money to people on the street, doing things to help others quietly.

During the May 11th, 1970 Augusta Riots. He was the only Local Black leader to get on the local radio stations BBQ, RDW and others to urge common sense and restraint. That was immediately listen to by both sides.

Yes his fame crossed the race lines of the late 60's and early 70's, he was that popular and respected.

To bad once Hollywood gets a hold of his life story they'll focus on the wrong things, that only occupied a small part of his life and career.

Jake 10/24/12 - 05:38 pm
Mr Brown

I don't know about that Open Curtain. I don't think Mick Jagger would be part of this if the movie was going to focus on the negative. We all know about his faults but his positive influence far surpasses that.
To me the biggest challenge would be to find an actor who could actually do James Brown. 15 years ago I would have selected Prince because he could have done many of the moves that JB used to do on stage plus he had some acting experience. Now, I am not sure who could pull it off.
I was in Vietnam during the May 1970 riots and I did not know about his radio appeal but I do remember his public television appearance in Boston when MLK was assassinated in an effort to keep folks indoors to watch his concert instead of rioting.
He was the best entertainer I have ever seen and I know exactly why Mick Jagger is in support of this film. All one has to do is see the TAMI show DVD and it is very apparent that nobody else comes close to his kind of talent.
I also applaud and support Deanna Thomas in her continuation of the turkey and toy give away that she does every year. Also her James Brown Music Academy is particularly noteworthy. I saw her students on stage at the Westobou Festival and they were very, very good. The James Brown soul legacy lives on in Augusta as well it should.

TCB22 10/24/12 - 05:50 pm
Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars would be PERFECT for this role! I watched him on SNL last Saturday and saw so much of JB in his soul.

JRC2024 10/24/12 - 10:46 pm
I loved James Brown and went

I loved James Brown and went to see him several times and still listen to his music today. Best beat around "Living in Americia"

Tullie 10/25/12 - 06:33 am
It's a good thing

James Brown's music influenced many musicians in the industry. He was a talented, fantastic man. He had some rough patches in his life, but it seems a lot in the limelight have that problem. But the good and bad, made him who he was.

He did more good in his lifetime than most of us can even think of doing. He deserves recognition for that.

Riverman1 10/25/12 - 08:12 am
Who Will Play Simon Legree?

I'm sure THAT movie will REQUIRE a Simon Legree character.

shrimp for breakfast
shrimp for breakfast 10/25/12 - 08:20 am
I too Wonder

Who would be a good fit as the actor.
I thought Jamie Foxx was a good fit for Ray Charles.
I can't wait to see who will portray him.

OpenCurtain 10/25/12 - 12:56 pm
Remember fans

There are several James Browns and each needs a different actor.

* The Camp Gordon Shine Kid dancing, singing for nickles while shining boots. & Gospel phase.
* Local musician and early warm up act.
* The R&B & King of Funk
* the God-Father of SOUL
* the come back kid
* and movie star (Blues brothers)

To name a few.

There is 40+ years to cover.

How many of you remember his dance club next the Rock Station on the lower East side?

Utopia or Ebony World, something wasn't it?

multichunx 10/29/12 - 01:18 am
james brown

james brown was the greatest entertainer in the world.at this time i'm on the board augustastockmusicfest and plans, are to hold a concert in april 2013 in honor of mr. brown-headlined by the man he hailed to play himself-tony wilson"young james brown"-i beleive after this concert,we will see who to choose for at least one of the parts,thanks-richard hooper

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