The casting rumors for the role of James Brown in a long-dormant biopic are read like a shopping list entitled “Bad Decisions.” America’s sweetheart Chris Brown (!) has recently fallen by the wayside due to some “unpleasantness,” but as one falls, two new names emerge. Usher and Eddie Murphy have been cited by JB’s daughter, Yanna Brown, as the two frontrunners for the part. Fans of cinema and James Brown have no choice but to look at these candidates in a “lesser of two evils”-type context.
Usher can dance and sing. But he can’t really act, as every role he’s ever had demonstrates. Eddie can act, sometimes. But he can’t sing, as that “My Girl Likes to Party All the Time” song proves. Further he’s got some James Brown baggage, as his parody of him for “SNL”s “James Brown’s Hot Tub Party” will be hard to shake during even the most serious performance.
Why the powers that be (whoever that is in this case) think that their talent pool consists of “Eddie Murphy” and “Usher” is beyond me. If the story of James Brown is compelling enough, a open call to find a good fit sounds like the way to go, as I can’t imagine either Eddie Murphy or Usher proving to be a huge box office draw, unless James Brown had lots of documented conversations with animals or spent a lot of time dancing around, playing with a hat. (Shadow and Act via (ThePlaylist)