Fela Kuti Biopic

Published by Clay Cane on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 12:40 pm.

FelaA long overdue biopic about Nigerian activist and musician, Fela Kuti, is finally in the works according to the Hollywood Reporter, “Focus Features is developing a biopic about Fela Kuti, the Nigerian musician and political maverick.

Focus has acquired the book ‘Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon’ by Michael Veal as source material.

Kuti, whose full name is Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, garnered fame in the U.S. for his fusion style of music known as Afrobeat. He often was imprisoned on what human-rights groups called trumped-up charges when he went back to his native country and spoke out against its government and policies. He died in 1997.

Focus has a host of internationally oriented projects, including a biopic of Serge Gainsbourg and the Spanish-language ‘Sin Nombre,’ which premieres at the Sundance Film Festival.”

Kuti was a true revolutionary.  His son, Fema, once said his father, “spent his whole life fighting the system and nothing changed.”  Kuti died of HIV complications in 1997.

One can only hope the right actor is chosen to play Fela Kuti.  Djimon Hounsou, Don Cheadle, Idris Elba and maybe Cuba Gooding, Jr. are obvious choices.  However, I’d like to see what some up and coming actors like Lance Gross, Derek Luke and especially Anthony Mackie could do with the role.

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