Eddie Murphy or Usher as the Godfather of Soul?
Once you get past the initial perplexity of it all, it makes sense. We can see it, on both counts. And apparently the comedian and hip hop artist have both been approached to play the role, according to The Playlist.
The question is: Will a James Brown biopic actually come to pass this time? The project has been in development for several years, with Spike Lee on board to direct since 2006.
Lee is also attached to do another pass at the script, which began with Steve Baigelman ("Feeling Minnesota") and was then passed on to Jezz and John Henry Butterworth ("Fair Game").
Once upon a time, Wesley Snipes, who worked with Lee on "Mo' Better Blues" and "Jungle Fever," was attached to play the role -- which makes Murphy being approached for it somewhat ironic, as the former "Beverly Hills Cop" said Snipes was perfect for the part during an interview with Conan O'Brien a couple of years ago. But as Snipes continues to struggle with a number of legal problems, it's doubtful he's still in the running.
Spike Lee has also said that he wants his lead actor to lip-sync to Brown's songs... though with Usher now a contender, that may change.
Whoever gets the part, we want to see James Brown's life story brought to the screen -- that's some Hollywood magic waiting to happen.