James Brown Biopic to be Filmed in Mississippi

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Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant joined Taylor in announcing the project and said the state will provide incentives, including rebates of up to 30 percent of the payroll for state residents hired on the project. It’s not yet possible to put a dollar figure on the state incentive package, Bryant said, because the movie is still in the planning stage.

Mississippi lawmakers earlier this year increased the incentives that the state offers to movie makers. The new law, signed by Bryant, says the state could provide rebates of up to $10 million per project for nationally distributed feature films, documentaries and TV shows.

Brown, who died in 2006, was known as “the hardest working man in show business” and as the “Godfather of Soul.” He was born in South Carolina and grew up in Georgia. Taylor said Mississippi provides a similar look because it is “on that same line of latitude.”

The film will begin when Brown was about 5 years old and will extend to about 1993, Taylor said, declining to give details about what parts of Brown’s life will be depicted: “You have to buy a ticket and come see it.”

Brown performed a concert at the Mississippi Coliseum in February 1969, although it was not immediately clear whether that concert will be depicted in the movie. Taylor said the coliseum’s interior will stand in for Boston Gardens, where Brown played a concert and calmed an audience after the Rev. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., in 1968; and downtown Jackson will stand in for downtown Cincinnati, home of King Records.

“The Help,” released in 2011, was filmed in several Mississippi locations, including Greenwood and Jackson. Taylor said he wants to develop the film industry in the state.

“I think with all of our hard work, we will soon see great talent rising up from our native soil,” Taylor said.

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