Chadwick Boseman is set to star in the long-gestating project for Universal and Imagine
"The Help" director Tate Taylor is considering a reunion with three of the stars from his hit 2011 drama, as Viola Davis, Oscar winner Octavia Spencer and Nelsan Ellis are being eyed for supporting roles alongside Chadwick Boseman in Universal's untitled James Brown movie, an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap.
A studio insider cautions that no offers have been made yet to "The Help" trio, whose representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Boseman, who broke out in a big way with his performance as Jackie Robinson in "42," is now preparing to play a very different historical figure in the movie, which Universal and Imagine Entertainment have spent years trying to bring to the big screen.
With rising star Boseman in place as the Godfather of Soul, the long-gestating project has finally received a green light. Boseman will portray Brown over a period of several decades, from his disadvantaged youth to his status as a bonafide music icon.
Brian Grazer and Eric Huggins are producing for Imagine Entertainment, while Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman will produce under their Jagged Films banner. Taylor will also produce via his Wyolah Films, whose John Norris will executive produce.
Jagger will also be depicted as a character in the film along with his Rolling Stones bandmate Keith Richards, their fellow musician Little Richard and Syd Nathan, the founder of Kings Records.
Much of the film will be shot in Mississippi, it was announced today by Taylor and Governor Phil Bryant.
Taylor will direct from a script by Jez and John-Henry Butterworth ("Fair Game"), who revised the originally draft by Steven Baigelman. Universal execs Peter Cramer and Maradith Frenkel will oversee the project for Universal.
Boseman, who next stars alongside Kevin Costner in Summit's "Draft Day," is repped by Greene and Associates, Management 360 and Ziffren Brittenham.
Variety broke the news of Boseman's casting.