Chadwick Boseman Conjures the Late Godfather of Soul in ‘Get On Up’ Trailer
After his star-making turn as Jackie Robinson in last spring's baseball biopic, "42," Chadwick Boseman looks to have hit another home run with his immersive performance as James Brown in "Get on Up."
If the trailer serves as a true sign for what's coming to theaters this summer, Boseman might very well have an Oscar nomination to look forward to as he transforms himself into the Godfather of Soul. Boseman's got it all: the larger-than-life persona both on-stage and off-, the one-of-a-kind voice (both singing and speaking), and astonishing dance moves.
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Chadwick Boseman, foreground, as James Brown (Universal)
The trailer shows us that "Get on Up" covers quite a bit of the remarkable life story of James Brown. The very first scene shows young James with his Aunt Honey (Octavia Spencer), the relative who raised the future superstar after his "no account fool" mother Susie (Viola Davis) abandoned him and moved to New York.
From there, it's a rapid-fire highlights reel of Brown's life and career, including forming the gospel quartet Johnny Terry with some fellow cellmates while serving time as a teenager at a juvenile detention center, developing his crowd-pleasing stage skills as a church performer, entertaining the troops in Vietnam and being reunited with his estranged mother, a segment set to a haunting version of his chart-topping single, "I Feel Good (I Got You)."
As impressive as Boseman is in the trailer, he's matched by the production itself, with director Tate Taylor ("The Help") sparing no expense in recreating several locations and events (including Brown's legendary 1962 performance at Harlem's Apollo Theater) over several decades of American entertainment history. The supporting cast looks solid as well, with "The Help" alums Davis and Spencer joined by Dan Aykroyd (who recently appeared in another musical biopic, "Beyond the Candelabra") as Universal Attractions Agency founder Ben Bart and Nelsan Ellis as Brown's friend and colleague, Bobby Byrd.
"Get on Up" will get on the scene on Aug. 1.