Casting is underway for the James Brown biopic Get on Up, and the role of Brown’s father, Joseph “Joe” James, will be played The Walking Dead veteran Lennie James, according to Variety. The film, which features 42 star Chadwick Boseman as the late Godfather of Soul, is being co-produced by Brian Grazer and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger and will be released next year.
Grazer, whose credits include Apollo 13 and 8 Mile, has been trying to make a movie about James Brown since the late Nineties, when Spike Lee’s name was initially attached as director. (Tate Taylor, who helmed Winter’s Bone and The Help, is the man in charge). After Brown’s death in 2006, the project floundered, but it’s back on track now that the rights to his music have been secured.
Lennie James, 47, first made headlines as one of Guy Ritchie’s goons in his 2000 release, Snatch. The Englishman has recently found success on the small screen with AMC, appearing on Low Winter Sun and The Walking Dead as Morgan Jones, who survived the zombie apocalypse alongside his son, Duane, and his wife, Jenny. While James has only appeared in two episodes to date, showrunner Scott Gimple told SFX magazine that he’ll pop-up again later this year.
After three incredibly successful seasons and a strong start to its fourth installment, The Walking Dead continues to find critical and mass audiences, signified by Andrew Lincoln’s appearance on the cover of Rolling Stone earlier this month. In a series of exclusive interview with Rolling Stone, 11 members of the cast and crew previewed what promises to be the most exciting season yet. After 43 episodes, we’ve learned that nobody is safe, a sentiment shared by David Morrissey, Norman Reedus and even series creator Robert Kirkman, who says he wrote the story’s final scene in early October.