Spike Lee to Direct Wesley Snipes in James Brown Biopic

via MTV

James Brown is the lone Godfather of Soul, and even if he looks a lot like Wesley Snipes in Spike Lee’s upcoming biopic, Lee wants to make sure there’s one recognizable voice coming through the microphone when the legendary figure appears on-screen.wesley-snipes-200x300

“We’re doing it together – it’s going to happen,” Lee told MTV News in an exclusive interview at the Sundance Film Festival this week. The Oscar nominated director of “Do the Right Thing” and “Inside Man” lavished praise on Snipes. “He’s my man,” Lee said; but when it comes to the vocals on Brown’s classic tracks like “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and “Get Up Offa That Thing,” expect to hear the authentic voice of James Brown being dubbed in. “I want to hear James Brown’s voice,” the director said. “That’s just my personal taste.”

He’s not the first filmmaker to take the dubbing route in a musical biopic. Taylor Hackford dubbed Ray Charles’ original voice over Jamie Foxx in “Ray.” “I know Joaquin Phoenix in ‘Walk the Line,’ he did some of the singing,” Lee said, breaking down the decision. “I’m a purist,” he explained. Lee and Paramount grabbed Snipes to play Brown in 2007. The project came together shortly after Brown died in 2006 of congested heart failure. Snipes’ big-screen energy summoning Brown’s near mythological stage presence will obviously carry a hefty punch. You have to feel the demands being place on Snipes, though, just to physically imitate James Brown to the point of syncing with his vocals. That task alone should make “Demolition Man” feel like a jog through through Park City, Utah, by contrast. Do you think Spike Lee is doing the right thing by dubbing in James Brown’s original voice? Do you think Wesley Snipes is a good fit for the part? Speak up and let everyone know in the comments section below!

One thought on “Spike Lee to Direct Wesley Snipes in James Brown Biopic

  1. I was present for the original meeting with Imagine ent. when James and I had them to dinner in Georgia, to require the ten year option. Ron Howard was the reason James was so exited about Imagine doing the film. He was proud and thought that Ron Howard and Brian Grazier were a perfect choice and they would do it with integrity. I was also with James Brown for the last ten years of his life. on and off the road, on the stage as well as in and out of our home, and the relentless prosecution in the press. Having been the one person that spoke to him every night before he went to sleep for the last ten years of his life. (There were no outsider’s… Ever). I would certainly hope that if someone really wanted to know the truth about what James wanted they would ask someone who was actually there. Regardless of rumor and hear say about our relationship, I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO COULD TELL YOU EXACTLY WHAT VISION JAMES HAD IN MIND FOR HIS BIOPIC. Let alone how he lived and felt about his life and what he wanted me to carry on for him and for our son, James Brown II. Believe me, James had a very definite opinion of who he wanted to play him and why he did not want certain people to be a part of this project. ” If you don’t know what I know… well, you better ask somebody!!! Either way, I will be there always looking out for my husband and the Estate I had to fight so hard to protect. In order to accomplish what James wanted for the his legacy and our family. I had to hold my head up high in the midst of horrible lies and disrespect. In the end I won just as he said I would. Together we battled through Diabetes,Cancer,Blackmail,addiction,corporate theft, lies and unbelievable acts of racism and hatred directed at my husband and I in the last ten years of his life and as well as after his death. needless to say that the fight for me is not over. So, please be advised that I will continue to be that watchful eye for my beloved husband. As a beneficiary and an active board member of the entire James Brown Estate, And, as the widow of the GREAT JAMES BROWN. I simply hope your intentions are good. One of the many things that James said for me never to forget was when he told me- “Baby I didn’t marry you cause you were the prettiest girl in the room… I married you because you were a fighter. And you are going to have to fight for loving me!’ Then he spent the next ten years teaching me how to fight who I would have to fight and what to do when the smoke cleared. I have been fighting since the day he died for his rights (that have not yet been honored) our son’s rights and last but not least, Mine. I have no intention’s of stopping now! James also told me ” Baby.. your gonna miss these old bones when I’m gone”. And, He was right.. About EVERYTHING! I wish you all the best in the making of this very important film and I will be seeing you through out this process. If there is anything I can help you with feel free to contact me either through the estate or personally. email me at Tomiraebrown@mac. com
    Thank you sincerely for your attention.
    Mrs. Tomi Rae Brown and The James Brown Estate.

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