News Article

'Freak' Show

Dave Chappelle may play Rick James. Paramount is developing the funkster's upcoming ''Memoirs of a Super Freak'' into a movie that would star the ''Chappelle's Show'' comic

Dave Chappelle | HAT RICK Chappelle (as James) may take his act to the big screen
HAT RICK Chappelle (as James) may take his act to the big screen

If you laugh when you hear the phrase, ''I'm Rick James, b----!'', then you've seen Dave Chappelle's celebrated impersonation of the ''Super Freak'' singer, a highlight of this season's ''Chappelle's Show'' on Comedy Central. If you haven't seen it, you may soon get to do so at the multiplex. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the 56-year-old funk legend is finishing his autobiography, called (what else?) ''Memoirs of a Super Freak,'' and producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura is negotiating with him for the movie rights, in order to make a biopic at Paramount, with Chappelle in talks to star.

James has certainly had a colorful life, as a hitmaker for himself and others, and as a drug addict and convicted felon who served two years in prison in the mid-1990s after two women accused James and his girlfriend of torturing and imprisoning them. As for Chappelle, whose best-known movie work is as the lead in the 1998 stoner comedy ''Half Baked,'' he's already busy on other projects besides ''Chappelle's Show,'' including a book deal announced last month, for a tome called ''How to Play the Race Card and Win.''

Originally posted Jun 10, 2004