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Trailer: Chadwick Boseman Plays James Brown in ‘Get On Up’

This isn’t Chadwick Boseman’s first time playing an American icon. Last year, he portrayed legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson in 42. This summer, he’s channeling the Godfather of Soul in Tate Taylor’s biopic Get On Up.

In his follow-up to the four-time Academy Award-nominated blockbuster The Help, Tate Taylor directs Chadwick Boseman as James Brown in Get on Up. The film will give a fearless look inside the music, moves and moods of Brown, taking audiences on the journey from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. Boseman is joined in the drama by Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Nelsan Ellis, Lennie James, Tika Sumpter, Jill Scott and Dan Aykroyd.

And there’s plenty of energy and soul in the trailer for Get On Up. Hopefully, this isn’t another generic and forgettable biopic like 42. Although we don’t see it in the trailer, Taylor has said that Brown will be breaking the fourth wall and directly addressing the audience.

“I told everybody, Look, James was a control freak, and even though he’s not with us, there’s no way he wouldn’t be a part of his movie… There is a lot of pain in this movie, but as James says, take what’s bad and flip it on its head and make it work for you,” Taylor says. “That’s what he did, and that’s what we can all learn from complicated geniuses.” [USA Today]

Get On Up stars Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Nelsan Ellis, Lennie James, Tika Sumpter, Jill Scott and Dan Aykroyd. The film opens in theaters on August 1, 2014.