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Wesley Snipes As James Brown? In What Alternate Universe?

wesley_snipes_noxema.jpg Earlier this week news spread that Wesley Snipes had been cast to play James Brown in an upcoming biopic by Spike Lee. The diminutive director bought the rights to the Godfather of Soul's story in 2007 and cast Snipes in the plum role on the DL.  Because surely if we had known this sooner we would have organized a petition, written our congressmen, or done something in response to this travesty of casting. Not to take anything away from Wesley, but he isn't that much younger than Brown was at the time of his death. (Heh!) How is he going to play young JB? Furthermore, with the exception of that scene where he put in work on the balcony in Mo' Better Blues, can he even move like a sex machine? Last time we saw Snipes shake his bon-bon was in Michael Jackson's "Bad" video. Please don't play Brown without having the dancing down, thank you. And truth be told, Wesley isn't exactly known for his acting skill. After a good run in the '90s, it's safe to say that he's fallen off in recent years. So how and why did this happen? Was Will Smith not available? 

Years ago when Denzel Washington was cast as Malcolm X in
another Spike Lee joint, the choice was questioned given that the actor
looked nothing like the person he was playing. However, Denzel as Malcolm turned out to be a stroke of genius when he acted the hell out of that role and transformed himself into the slain
leader. This time around, whereas Wesley Snipes may favor James Brown,
it's doubtful whether all of the necessary components needed to portray
such a complex character are there.

This begs the question, would it kill Hollywood to discover some new talent? As rigged as the casting for the Notorious B.I.G. was (remember those Notorious casting calls after Gravy had
already been chosen?), you had to applaud the filmmakers for choosing an unknown for the lead who was very believable in the role.
Surely there was an acting/dancing/singing brotha out there grinding
off Broadway or in Hollywood who would have given a testicle for the
opportunity to play this Soul music icon.

On the upside, at least Wesley won't be singing in the flick. Spike has already stated that they'll be using Brown's original vocals,
which may put your side eye at ease. If there's one thing that we're
looking forward to in regard to this movie, it's seeing Wesley don James'
world famous press n' curl. After seeing him in To Wong Foo, we already know that he's comfortable in long hair.


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13 Responses

  1. The picture of Wesley in drag just made me throw up, I cant for the life.........................of God here it comes again..........Sorry just threw up aga......................................someone make it stop..........................:-)

  2. I heard about this earlier in the week and I'm still shaking my head at Wesley playing James Brown. Then again, James and Noxema Jackson probably had the same beautician.

  3. What does Wesley have on Spike? In the past, Wesley slammed Black films by claiming, "Alot of the scripts I've been in with other non-white actors haven't been all that great. Alot of non-white actors ain't all that great." Now he's broke and is welcomed back with open arms by Spike. WTF! Wesley is no longer a big star and I'm uncertain if his name alone will draw large crowds on opening weekend. Spike can't afford another flop after Miracle at St. Ana (great film btw).

  4. I'd rather see Usher, The Ghost of Black Michael Jackson, or even Justin Timberlake in black face before Wesley. Kidding. But still, not this guy. cast an unknown.

  5. You know - I think Wesley could do the acting part, but the dancing is questionable. Frankly - for shit like this you need unknowns because you'll have to believe that it's James, not some star playing James.

  6. I agree with nOva - this could be a fantastic breakout role for an upcoming actor providing they surround said actor with enough star power to make it marketable and believeable. Hollywood is clammering to resurrect our music heroes from the 50s and 60s; which is the James Brown hey day. This could be a great film embodying a tapestry of the classic soul story with James as the anchor patch.
    I don't believe Wesley can shoulder that task nor generate the necessary energy from the masses to evoke a phenomenon.

  7. Spike has lost his gat damn mind! I've been wrong about questionable casting choices (e.g. Heath Ledger as the joker) but there is no way this would work. I know Wesley has fell on hard times, but I don't think Spike wants to help a brother out at the expense of his career.

  8. I hate ya'll for that picture!

  9. Avatar

    Wesley may have worked out for Spike Lee Joints in the 90's, but James Brown?? Hell to the naw. I'm a big Spike Lee fan, but he doesn't seem to like casting unknowns, he uses the same leads over and over and OVER!

  10. I think the best person to cast in that role would have been Wayne Brady. Although he is in his 30's, you can still pull off a young James Brown. Also, he can sing, dance and act! Wesley was not the best choice to play JB....

  11. My name is Jermaine Anthony and i was born and raised 5 minutes from where James Brown was born. Wesley snipes great actor enjoyed him in sugar hill and New Jack city but its a new time. Give young Actors such as myself a chance. Speaking Truthfully you cant have a northern man play the role of a down south man you want the best person to fill the part call this number 803-295-7904 listen to this young man (Anthony Dunbar) do his james brown impersonation not to mention he favors james brown also but dont take my word for it call him yourself..
    Dunbar Entainment
    p.s you might wanna tell spike lee before he puts his self up for a upset and the movie folds out of the box office... True words and im out Peace love and happiness

  12. Hi Spike, You know I love you & l love Wesley too...but there are so many young brothers down here in SC that almost make me say "....Lawd ham mersay!"... That dance, sing and look like The Godfather of Soul. There is something about fellas like "Little Wayne" and "TI" that you can't get, unless its home-grown...you dig? Now if Wesley is playing Sammy Davis......yeah....I can see that or he can be one of those devious gangster agent / club owners from the '60's. You'd better get your scouts down here in SC to just double check first. I've met more James Brown look-alikes at SC State University.(I wonder why?) Especially in the Marching 101 Band (hint-hint)
    I am sure you won't regret it. Oh yeah...and stop by the campus's I.P. Stanback Museum too. We currently have James Brown's personal effects on display & videos. See you soon. 803-536-7000

  13. I see Wesely wants a new trial. He believes it wasn't fair. I don't know much about his case but it doesn't look good. I don't think he has proof of jury misconduct like his defence claims. But we'll see. Would like to see his movies make comeback. Underated actor if you ask me.



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