FIRST LOOK: Check Out Trailer to James Brown Bio-Pic

Posted March 18, 2014 by J Matthew Cobb in Features

Star Time finally gets star treatment on the big screen

If there’s one rock god that has not received the box office smash they rightfully deserves, it’s James Brown. And it’s probably because there’s so much that is misunderstood about the Godfather of Soul. R.J. Smith‘s critically-acclaimed book, The One: The Life and Music of James Brown, may have described the heights and low points of Brown best. But finally Mister “Star Time” is getting the star treatment he rightfully deserves.


Directed by Tate Taylor (The Help), Get On Up explores the depths of James Brown’s rise from extreme poverty in Augusta, Georgia to become one of the most influential musicians in history. Brown is played by Chadwick Boseman, who made a name for himself in the Jackie Robinson biopic 42.  Oscar-winning Octavia SpencerViola Davis, Dan Aykroyd and Craig Robinson also star in the feature. Giving the film extra visibility with its target audience, R&B stars like Jill Scott, Aloe Blacc and Ralph Tresvant (New Edition) land cameo parts. Instead of being filmed in Brown’s hometown, two cities in Mississippi (Natchez and Jackson) were selected as filming locations.

The film, distributed by Universal Pictures, hits theaters in the U.S. on August 1.

Whether it’s a great adaption or not, we have yet to see. The good thing about the trailer is that we are for certain that the film has been granted music rights to properly use original recordings from the James Brown vault, meaning that they were granted permission from Brown’s estate. This was not the case for the 2014 bio-pic focusing on Jimi Hendrix, starring Andre 3000. That film, All is By My Side, is currently hitting the film festival circuit and was screened at this year’s SXSW.

Will Get On Up be as big as the Ray Charles bio-pic Ray? Do you think it’s a hit or a miss?

Let us know what you think.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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