James Brown Biopic Titled Get On Up, Will Be Released Next Year

Now that the James Brown biopic has found its lead actor it looks like Universal is finally committing to get the movie made. Earlier this week we reported that 42 star Chadwick Boseman has been cast to play the Godfather of Soul in the movie, and now not only does the project have a new release date it even has a title. According to Variety, Universal Pictures has officially named the film Get on Up and will have the biopic in theaters on Friday October 17, 2014.

Anyone even slightly familiar with Brown's music should immediately recognize the title from one of the artist's most popular songs, "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine" (which I guess the studio just couldn't see working well on a theater marquee). You can watch a 1973 Soul Train performance of the song below, complete with an introduction from host Don Cornelius.

With the 2014 release calendar filling up quickly, there was little chance that Universal was going to find a weekend without any direct competition, but they have successfully paired the movie with a competing film that probably won't steal too much of the audience. On its October release date next year Get On Up will be facing off against the new adaptation of Frankenstein that is set to star James McAvoy as the titular doctor and Daniel Radcliffe as his assistant Igor. The latter film will likely be focusing in on audiences that are getting into the Halloween spirit while the former will be using the spot as an access point to the 2014 Oscar race.

Directed by Tate Taylor, who made a big splash both helming and adapting the 2011 Academy Award-winning hit The Help, Get On Up will chronicle the entire life story of James Brown as he escaped a childhood wrought with poverty and violence to become one of the most popular entertainers that the world has ever seen. Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, who previously wrote the Doug Liman-directed thriller Fair Game, wrote the script. In addition to having Boseman play the lead role in the film, it's been rumored that Taylor is looking to add The Help stars Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, and Nelsan Ellis to the cast as well, though as of now they are only being considered and none of them have officially signed on just yet. In addition to directing, Taylor will also be serving as a producer on the project alongside names like Mick Jagger and Brian Grazer.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.