Spike Lee In Talks For Justin Timberlake Drama Spinning Gold
Love him or hate him, you have to admit Spike Lee is a fearless filmmaker. Whether he's publicly taking on Clint Eastwood or Quentin Tarantino, or perhaps remaking a movie that was an absolute critical darling, Lee is a decidedly bold maybe even brash artist. So it makes sense that he's being eyed to helm the biopic about infamous record company executive Neil Bogart. THR reports Lee has entered into negotiations to helm Spinning Gold, as the American Film Market kicks off. Should he sign on, Lee would be directing pop megastar turned actor Justin Timberlake in the lead role.
Penned by Bogart's son Timothy Scott Bogart, Spinning Gold follows the music impresario's rise from being a poor kid on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, to the record exec who launched the careers of such iconic musicians as Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, Gladys Knight, KISS, Donna Summers and The Village People. Basically, before dying at 39, Bogart proved a massive influence on American pop culture.
Timberlake is not only fronting this feature; he is also producing it. Spinning Gold was first announced back in 2011. Boardwalk Films, which was born from the Bogart-founded Boardwalk Records, was set to make the project. However, after this initial announcement, Spinning Gold sidestepped the spotlight until last spring when Foresight Unlimited signed on to finance the film. From there, Timberlake took the will-be biopic to the Cannes Film Market to line up foreign distributors ahead of production. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions soon signed on to distribute Spinning Gold in numerous markets. With pre-production gearing up, Timothy Scott Bogart will produce alongside Timberlake, Laurence Mark, Gary A. Randall and Mark Damon.
Lee is perfectly familiar with both the tough streets of New York and the complicated world of the entertainment industry, and he's even got a background in biopics. Most famously he co-wrote and directed the eponymous Malcolm X biopic, which went on to earn an Academy Award nomination for its star Denzel Washington. And in 2001 he helmed the TV-movie A Huey P. Newton Story, which was an adaptation of Roger Geunveur Smith's one-man show about the Black Panthers co-founder.
Should Lee sign on, it's unclear where Spinning Gold might fall in his upcoming schedule. In theory he'll be doing press this month for his soon to hit thriller Oldboy. Sure, he ducked out of its New York Comic Con showcase, but surely he'll be doing junkets and talk shows to tout his version of the critically adored South Korean revenge drama. But beyond that, Lee has his mysterious Kickstarter movie to make. After crowdfunding from mostly rich fans and friends like Steven Soderbergh, the movie about blood addiction achieved its fundraising goal and then some, pulling in $1.4 million for "The Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint." He's begun rounding up a cast that includes Michael K. Williams, Stephen Tyrone Williams, and Zaraah Abrahams. But no start date for this untitled Lee project has yet been announced. In the meantime, enjoy an Oldboy trailer.
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