Auteur Steve McQueen Goes For Fela Biopic Next

By Katey Rich 2009-12-08 12:12:41discussion comments
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Auteur Steve McQueen Goes For Fela Biopic Next image
I'm still not certain whether last year's Hunger was so remarkable because of the direction from artist Steve McQueen, or simply because McQueen occasionally got out of the way and let Michael Fassbender's magnetic performance take over. Still, it's worth checking out what McQueen's got up next no matter what, and his choice to do a biopic about African musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti is very, very interesting indeed.
Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon, according to Variety. Still, there will be plenty of music, as Focus has snagged the entire catalog of music rights.

Focus CEO James Schamus told Variety, ""Fela might be the most globally influential pop artist outside the Beatles in the last 50 years. The Broadway show is pure joy, but Steve and Biyi's vision is very cinematic and distinctive. Fela was a revolutionary figure in world culture, and Steve is an artist who had a strong vision of politics and the world even before he made his first film. They are kindred spirits."

There's a tiny little detail at the end of this piece that has nothing to do with Fela that I love anyway, in which Schamus-- who was one of the best interviews I've ever done-- talks about the financial component of his business. "We all feel pressure to hit homers, but A Serious Man, a film that has no definable genre or business plan, is the solid double we hoped it would be, and Coraline got more Annie nominations than Up. Of course, I got my ass kicked on Woodstock. That is going to happen, but you've got to keep making movies you believe in, at reasonable costs." Well said, sir.
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