Spike Lee will no longer be the writer and director of the highly anticipated James Brown bio-pic. The famed director was fired by producer Brian Grazer who originally hired Lee for the film shortly after Brown’s death in 2006.
Eddie Murphy, who was cast by Lee to play Brown, once told BlackTree TV that the script was a “great, great piece.”
However, Glazer decided to fire Lee and hired Tate Taylor. Taylor was the director of the film The Help.
Although the movie was critically-acclaimed, it lacked in story structure and failed to give a complete view of black life during that era. Essentially, it was a black story told from a white person’s point of view.
Before The Help, Tate only directed the lackluster film Pretty Ugly People.
His credentials are not adequate for a film as enormous as James Brown.
Lee has also directed a few duds. However, he’s mostly known for being the man behind American classics such as Do The Right Thing and Malcolm X.
Glazer’s decision to fire Lee and hire Tate proves that Hollywood continues to be a racially divided industry. Black filmmakers will only get an opportunity to tell their stories when wealthy blacks make a point to invest in the business by opening more production studios.