Why Spike Lee was Replaced by White Director for James Brown Biopic

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  • Spike Lee apparently doesn’t leave the best taste in Hollywood’s mouth.

    It’s not that he doesn’t make some dynamic, worth-talking-about films. It’s more like he’s not someone they particularly want to work with … at least that’s the impression producer Brian Grazer gives.

    Spike was on the list to direct the James Brown biopic, but Grazer changed his mind after analyzing a few things.

    In an interview with Rolling Stone, he revealed why he went with a different, white, director.

    RS: What happened with Spike Lee, who was said to be directing the original movie project before Brown’s death?

    BG: He was the choice when I had the rights. I had just produced Inside Man with him. When the rights left me, I didn’t have any control, and I couldn’t make director choices. So when it came later with new people and new rights holders, we weren’t doing it with Spike Lee anymore. The world was different then. Now you have to make movies for less money.

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