November 4, 2013 8:41:49 AM
NATCHEZ -- Filming begins today in Natchez for "Get On Up," a biopic about the Godfather of Soul, James Brown.
Executive producer Trish Hoffman said extras are still needed for several scenes, including a Vietnam scene that will be filmed at the Natchez-Adams County Airport in December.
"Slowly but surely, we're getting all the cast together, and we're almost fully cast," Hoffman told The Natchez Democrat. "Extras, extras, extras is sort of our big thing right now.
"We really need a ton of extras for some of the concert sequences, and it's been a real challenge to get the number we need for many of the scenes," she said.
Hoffman said Dan Aykroyd, Jill Scott and Craig Robinson have been added as cast members in the past few days, Hoffman said.
Aykroyd, an original "Saturday Night Live" cast member known for roles in "The Blues Brothers" and "Ghostbusters," will play Brown's agent, Ben Bart.
Scott, a Grammy-winning singer, will play Brown's second wife, Deidre "Deedee" Jenkins.
Robinson, who played Darryl Philbin on the NBC sitcom "The Office," will play Maceo Parker, a funk and soul saxophonist who played with Brown in the 1960s.
Movie makers announced weeks ago that Brown will be portrayed by Chadwick Boseman, who was Jackie Robinson in "42."
"Get On Up" is scheduled for release in October 2014. It's being directed by Tate Taylor, a Mississippi native who also directed "The Help."
Taylor said filming will take place in November and December in and around Natchez and in early 2014 in and around Jackson.
"Once we start shooting, it's like a speeding train," Hoffman said. "We don't advertise where or what day we're going to shoot scenes, but we'll be all over the area."
The movie will depict the life of Brown from about age 5 until 1993. He died in 2006.
Hoffman said the movie makers recently started testing different looks for hair and makeup. "People may start seeing James Brown walking around Natchez," she said.