Josh Brolin Eyes John Brown Biopic

ComingSoon.net was down in New Orleans today, visiting the set of Warner Bros.’ Jonah Hex, and while we can’t say anything about that just yet, we did have a chance to talk with the film’s star, Josh Brolin, about his upcoming projects.

While Brolin has a few more weeks of work on “Hex” before heading to England to star in Woody Allen’s next movie, his other upcoming projects mainly involve films he’s developing as a producer, one of them which would keep him in the same era as his current movie, since he’s been looking at producing a biopic from a script by Mark Gordon about John Brown, the American abolitionist who was somewhat of a fanatic who killed five Southern slave-owners before the start of the Civil War.

“It’s a great, great project,” Brolin told us. “The script was already out there; I read the script, I loved it. It would be a very tough character for me to play. We’re going to do some tests once I’m done with this, but it’s a great script and story. Somebody who I know, because of Howard Zinn’s thing, and I know the character really well. Mark Gordon and I had a conversation, and we said, ‘Let’s do this, let’s get this done.’ People have been wanting to do it forever and there’s a lot of directors who’d love to be involved, so I think now’s the time.” (While most Americans might remember Brown from their American History classes, he’s probably best known for the mural above, famously used as the cover for rock band Kansas’ 1974 debut.)

The “Howard Zinn thing” Brolin mentions is the documentary he’s producing called The People Speak, based on Howard Zinn’s book “A People’s History of the United States,” which will feature a who’s who of American actors including Matt Damon, Marisa Tomei, Sean Penn, Morgan Freeman, Don Cheadle and many more enacting some of the greatest speeches in American history.

Brolin also mentioned that he’s been talking with Mel Gibson about doing something together on Under and Alone, the true story of William Queen, an ATF agent who infiltrates the Mongols bike gang, based on his novel of the same name. Last we heard, Gibson had quit the project years ago, because it was conflicting with his making of Apocalypto, but from what Brolin said, maybe the project is back on track with Brolin playing a larger role. The project was only mentioned in passing so we’re unsure if he’s looking to take Gibson’s place in the role of Queen himself.

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