Mick Jagger and “The Help” director Tate Taylor will team up for a feature film about the life of James Brown, who died in Atlanta on Christmas Day 2006, Deadline reports.
“It’s a great honor to be involved with a project as rich as the story of the legendary James Brown,” Jagger told Deadline.
“My father’s music has been a beacon to people all over the world and now his life story will impact future generations,” his daughter Deanna Brown Thomas told the publication.
Brown, who died at age 73 of congestive heart failure, was born in South Carolina, but moved to Augusta when he was 6. He grew up in his great aunt’s brothel, shining shoes, and singing and dancing for tips on the city’s streets.
Brown maintained an active presence in Augusta, where a statue of his likeness now greets visitors on Broad Street, the city’s downtown boulevard. Brown would hand out turkeys at Thanksgiving and presents at Christmas. He ran into trouble with the law in Augusta, too, for incidents of domestic violence, drug offenses and a police chase that led to a 15-month prison stay.
Fans and mourners remembered the good and not-so-good times when Brown was eulogized in a huge mass celebration of his life in the downtown Augusta arena that bears his name.
“Only God could have made a James Brown possible, and only God can give James Brown rest,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said that day.
Also present were the Rev. Jesse Jackson, comedian and social commentator Dick Gregory and performer Michael Jackson, whose attendance came as something of a surprise to the 8,000+ fans who packed the James Brown Arena to say goodbye.
“When I saw him move, I was mesmerized, ” Jackson, who died in 2009, said that day. “And I knew that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”
Legal wrangling over Brown’s estate followed his death. Nearly two and a half years after his death, the estate was finally sorted out when a South Carolina judge approved a settlement that gave nearly half of his assets to his charitable trust, about a quarter to his wife and youngest son, and the rest to Brown’s adult children. Initially his widow Tomi Rae Hynie Brown and son James Brown II had been left out of Brown’s will. The document had last been updated before his final marriage and birth of James II.
“I find that the settlement is just and reasonable and provides a just and reasonable result for the charitable beneficiaries, ” Judge Jack Early wrote at the time.
During the court proceedings to settle the estate, claims emerged of unpaid debts, inadequate accounting and misappropriated money, The Associated Press reported. Some of Brown’s possessions were auctioned, partly to pay debt.
Around the time of the settlement, attorneys said what was truly at state were royalties from future projects – such as this new movie project, presumably.
Note: Information from AJC archives was used in this report. The AJC reported extensively on Brown’s death, funeral and legal proceedings over his estate and this article includes information first reported by AJC writers Bill Torpy and Mark Davis and past AJC writers Lynne Anderson and Richard L. Eldredge.