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‘The Walking Dead’ Actor Lennie James Joins James Brown Biopic ‘Get On Up’

Lennie James cast in James Brown biopic

Lennie James has joined the James Brown biopic Get On Up.

The British actor will play Brown’s father, Joseph, in the Tate Taylor-directed music drama. 42 star Chadwick Boseman will play the soul legend, who died in 2006.

Taylor said the biopic would be filmed in Mississippi, with production starting this fall.

“Every frame will be shot in Mississippi,” Taylor said. “We’re even doing Paris, France, in Mississippi…. Vietnam, as well, in Mississippi.”

Get On Up begins when James Brown was about five years old. The film will detail his rise from poverty and violence to becoming the Godfather of Soul. Brown was actively involved with the project during its development prior to his death.

The film also stars Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, who previously worked together with Tate Taylor on 2011′s The Help. Spencer won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for best supporting actress for her role in the film.

Lennie James currently stars on AMC’s Low Winter Sun, which is based on a 2006 British miniseries of the same name. Even with Breaking Bad as a lead in, Low Winter Sun failed to draw much of an audience. The series premiere drew 2.51 million viewers. With the exception of the seventh episode, Low Winter Sun‘s audience dropped steadily by the end of the 10-episode season, drawing only 0.63 million viewers for the finale. The seventh episode, which was directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Thirteen) drew 1.33 million viewers.

James also appeared in two episodes of The Walking Dead, first in the pilot, and again in the third season. His third season episode, “Clear,” drew 11.30 million viewers, with many critics calling it one of the best of the series. The episode was written by new showrunner Scott Gimple and featured only three of the season’s 10 main cast members: Andrew Lincoln (Rick), Chandler Riggs (Carl), and Danai Gurira (Michonne).

Lennie James also recently starred in Line of Duty. A second season has been confirmed to air on BBC2 in early 2014.

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