It looks like Rick James is going to be the next biopic that’s coming and some folks, such as Kevin Burwick from MovieWeb, seem to think that it might even put Bohemian Rhapsody to shame. That’s a bold claim in and of itself despite the legendary career that James had since when comparing musicians and their impact on the world it has to be said that their legends are usually what will end up lasting the longest. What’s thankful though is that James did create a legacy that has lasted and gone strong to this date and is still going in fact. Thanks to the efforts of celebrities like MC Hammer and Dave Chappelle his name has been remembered in a big way, either in relation to his music or in parody which still seeks to honor the man through use of satire and remixing as someone that was well ahead of his time while he was still making his way up.
According to Tiffany Brockworth of MTONews and many others there aren’t a whole lot of details on the movie at this point apart from the fact that it is in production and will be making its way to the people eventually. There are theories about who could possibly play the part of James, though likely there’s a few differing opinions as to who could make it work. Terrence Howard might be a good pick, though given that there are a lot of men that would likely accept such a role it might be kind of a difficult process to really pick through the talent that will likely come forward or be contacted. There’s usually no shortage of talented individuals that want to play parts like these even if some of them aren’t that great or aren’t that well-known. It would be the idea that whoever gets the part really needs to allowed to research and understand who Rick James was in order to bring a truly inspired performance to this movie.
As a lot of people know by now James’ life wasn’t without its many controversies, and the drug abuse was only one of them. As a child he didn’t seem to have much of a chance to be a kid since he had to accompany his mother to various locations that weren’t entirely fit for children. Then there’s the tale that he lost his virginity before he was ever a teenager and became wild and out control by the time he did hit his teens. The trouble that he got into when he was in the service also painted a vivid picture of a young boy that didn’t want to follow the rules and tended to do things his own way a majority of the time. Of course this means that he spent a good deal of time incarcerated as well since during his time with the US Navy he didn’t exactly do things as he was supposed to.
In a way this biopic might be better off as a TV movie since there seems like a lot of ground to cover considering that he led a rather full life that saw him getting in trouble all too often and finding ways to flout the law more than a few times. There’s no doubt that more people are going to want to know about his musical beginnings and how he became successful, but in keeping with what’s been done with other famous names that have had biopics produced about them, you have to guess that his life is going to be put under the microscope for those in society that haven’t yet realized his genius or the drama that went on behind it. Rick James wasn’t the devil, but he wasn’t a paragon of virtue either as he did a few things in his life that he recalled with a laugh during interviews but might offend a great number of people if all of them are true. To think that a movie like this would be shown in the best light possible doesn’t mean it would be a movie glorifying him with every scene, but instead something that showed just how he made his fame, how he started out, and who he was as a human being, not just a legend. That’s the important aspect of any biopic after all, to get the details of a person’s life accurate enough that the glamorization might not matter as much.
Ray Charles and Johnny Cash are two perfect examples of this since their movies showed them in a very positive light in some ways, but didn’t shy away from the serious problems that they both had, no matter if they were glamorized for the big screen or not. We want to see a movie about Rick James, this is true, but we also want to see him as a human being, not just a glorified legend.