Focus to Film ‘Fela’ Feature

McQueen to direct movie on African musician

Last Updated: December 8, 2009 @ 7:16 AM

Focus Features has tapped Steve McQueen to direct "Fela," a feature film based on the life of African musician and activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti — the subject of the recently opened Broadway musical "Fela!"

McQueen, the British artist who made his feature directing debut last year on the Irish hunger strike drama "Hunger," will write the script with Biyi Bandele, based on the Michael Veal book "Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon." Cine Mosaic’s Lydia Pilcher and Leigh Blake are producing. The musical has spurred a resurgence of interest in Fela, who died in 1997, and his Afrobeat musical style, which is a fusion of American jazz, funk and West African drums.

Read more from Variety.