James Brown Biopic in the Works

ON

After James Brown passed away early Monday morning it looks as if plans are already moving forward on a biopic centered on the “Godfather of Soul.”

Word out of Variety is that Spike Lee is aboard to direct the pic which could be in production by late next year, though 2008 is more likely.

Lee is already set to rewrite the script turned in by Jezz and John Henry Butterworth, a script that has been through several stages since Steve Baigelman wrote the original. Brown was actually all for the picture and gave the Butterworth brothers access to his camp. The rights package includes Brown’s life rights, and also access to all his music rights.

“Like everybody, I was surprised and saddened that James Brown died,” producer Brian Grazer told Variety. “Having known him well, and after spending lots of time with him and researching his life, it’s somehow not surprising that he died on Christmas Day. He was the ultimate showman, all the way to the end.”

In other Spike Lee news, he may be following up this year’s Inside Man with a sequel of which Russell Gewirtz is scripting right now.