HBO has acquired the rights to a documentary about the Godfather of Soul.
“Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown,” which airs Monday, Oct. 27, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, was made in cooperation with the Brown estate to feature never-before-seen footage, interviews, and photographs of the It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World singer. The two-hour feature is directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) and produced by Mick Jagger.
“We had full access to amazing never-before-seen photos and video from James Brown’s estate, which Alex Gibney used brilliantly to tell the story of James’ career from its inception through its pinnacle,” Jagger said in a statement to EW. “We spoke with the extraordinary people who knew James well and worked alongside him throughout his career. By hearing their fascinating stories and memories, we were able to paint the full picture of James as both a musical artist and social activist, whose legacy and impact on the music industry is ever-present.”
Mr. Dynamite will document Brown’s rise to fame from his 1956 hit “Please, Please, Please” and will feature interviews with Questlove, Chuck D, Rev. Al Sharpton, Maceo Parker, Clyde Stubblefield, Melvin Parker, Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis, Martha High, Bootsy Collins, Fred Wesley, and more.
“When Mick Jagger reached out to me to direct the documentary, we had a common goal in mind, to take the music of James Brown and put it into a larger historical context,” Gibney said. “As a musician, ‘Mr. Dynamite’ was the essential funk pioneer, a hugely influential figure and one of the greatest live performers – ever. Beyond his music, Brown’s cultural impact extends to the present day. Mick and his producing partner, Victoria Pearman, along with Peter Afterman from Inaudible and Blair Foster from Jigsaw, were wonderfully supportive and creative producers. We couldn’t be in better hands than with our friends at HBO.”