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The bio-pic Get On Up, which will open next Friday, was a dozen years in the making. Mick Jagger, who is one of the film's producer, tells Billboard that his colleague Brian Grazer first signed a deal with James Brown in 2002 -- four years before the R&B legend's death.
Jagger's connections with Brown go back to 1964, when The Rolling Stones received top billing over Brown at the TAMI concert in Santa Monica, California. The scene of a livid Brown aiming to show up the Stones onstage -- resulting in one of his most acclaimed performances -- is re-enacted in the movie, partly by using film of the actual event. Brown, who Jagger admitted was one of his strongest influences, later became friends with the English rocker.
Mick recalls the night it all happened in October 1964. "He wanted to go out there and kill, you know. And that probably made for a better performance than normal. He talked about that a lot afterwards, and it meant a lot to him. It was probably the first time that his entire show had been put down on film like that. That’s important for you as an artist."
Chadwick Boseman, who plays Brown in the film, talked with Billboard about the film's director, Tate Taylor, who is white. "I look at the work that Tate put into it. I look at how he fought for certain things and how he brought out who the man was. He developed a relationship with the [Brown] family. I think there's no color in that. The people that are grumbling have no idea of the nuances of that and the details of this specific situation."