LOS ANGELES - The late "Godfather of Soul" James Brown will rise again, on screen. Spike Lee has signed on to direct a feature film about the singer produced by Brian Grazer and Imagine Entertainment, Paramount Pictures announced Wednesday.
"It's an authorized biography done with the cooperation of Mr. Brown before his passing," Paramount spokeswoman Nancy Kirkpatrick said without further comment.
Lee will rewrite a draft by Jezz and John Henry Butterworth, the trade paper Daily Variety reported Wednesday. The script has been through several drafts since Steve Baigelman wrote the original. The movie could be in production by late 2007, Variety said.
"Having known him well, and after spending lots of time with him and researching his life, it's somehow not surprising that he died on Christmas Day. He was the ultimate showman, all the way to the end," Grazer told Variety on Tuesday.
Grazer did not immediately return messages left by The Associated Press at his Los Angeles office.
Brown, whose legendary brand of soul and funk influenced hip-hop, disco and rap, died of congestive heart failure on Christmas morning in Atlanta at age 73.