It would seem that Hollywood sees Chadwick Boseman as the go-to actor to play African-American icons. Just a few months after the actor scored positive marks for his performance as race-barrier breaking baseball player Jackie Robinson, the young actor has been cast as James Brown in the upcoming biopic about the Godfather of Soul, according to Variety.
Directed by Tate Taylor, who broke out a few summers ago directing and adapting the Academy Award-winning The Help, the film will chronicle Brown's entire life story as he escaped a life of extreme poverty and violence to become one of the most famous, dynamic performers of all time. The project has a couple high profile producers attached, including Brian Grazer and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger.
Prior to being cast in 42, Boseman primarily worked on television, starring in the series Persons Unknown and Lincoln Heights, and starring in single episodes of shows like Fringe, Justified, Castle and Detroit 1-8-7. He will next be appearing alongside Kevin Costner in the ensemble football comedy Draft Day, but you can get a taste of what he can do in the 42 trailer:
Boseman has proven himself to be a talented actor, but I'm curious about his vocal range. Brown had a unique, instantly recognizable voice that would certainly be hard to emulate. It wouldn't be shocked if Taylor ultimately decides to dub Brown's singing over Boseman's performance, but I think we would all prefer to see the full performance.
Adding to Variety's report, The Wrap has learned of three more names that could be joining Boseman in the biopic as well. Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, and Nelsan Ellis, who all previously worked with Taylor on The Help, are all reportedly being considered for supporting roles in the film. The site stresses that at this time no official offers have gone out, but it's not hard to see why they would want to reunite with the director. While Ellis only had a small role in The Help, playing Henry The Waiter, Davis earned a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for her performance while Spencer actually won the prize for Best Supporting Actress.
Variety says that several actors tested for the role of James Brown over the last few weeks, but that Boseman wound up being the top choice. Do you think he's the right pick for the role? Watch the real Godfather in action below and tell us what you think in the comments below.