Who Should Star in the James Baldwin Biopic?

Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX/Nara Archives (2091950a) Actor Charleton Heston, Writer James Baldwin, Actor Marlon Brando And Singer Harry Belafonte At March On Washington, 8/28/63 Various

I’m bout to sue you muhfuccas crazy because this is ALL MY IDEA.

Never mind that I can prove that Django Unchained was my idea too, fuck it, loved the movie and Tarantino’s goons would probably have my ass like Marsellus Wallace somewhere, in a basement with The Gimp.

But nah, this Jimmy Baldwin biopic just came to me, so if I see any of you muhfuccas actually out there saying you’re working on a script, expect to see me in court!

And of course we want a James Baldwin biopic; name a Black writer that doesn’t want it, name a Black person he didn’t affect or a Black intellectual, artist, activist he didn’t know, didn’t influence or wasn’t involved with.

We want to see The Fire Next Time acted out; Baldwin chasing around Malcolm X, trying to impress young Malcolm with his activism and the final, climactic showdown with Elijah Muhammad where Jimmy’s gotta worm out of his invitation to join The Nation of Islam.

We wanna see the scene where, after Eldridge Cleaver called him out in Soul On Ice, Jimmy allegedly kissed Eldridge in the mouth, suggesting that the Panther leader had more bitch in him than he, Jimmy, an open homosexual, did.

We wanna see the relationships, good friendships, strained and ect, between Baldwin and his literary “father” – which was also rumored to be love/hate – Richard Wright, him and Lorraine Hansberry, him and Maya Angelou, him and John A. Williams, him and flavor-of-the-minute Nina Simone, him and Norman Mailer of course, him and Marlon Brando, and him perhaps infamously with Martin Luther King.

Also, there’s so much to be acted, not only from his literary criticism and essays and from the stuff we can glean from people that actually knew the man, but also from his fiction.

How much can we interpret from Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone or Just Above My Head?

How much of the man do we know, that almost every single Black writer cites specifically as an influence if not the main one?

So let’s get to casting.

Zoe Saldana is out.

We see what a big fuccin mess casting her in any biopic causes.

Love Don Cheadle, but after doing the Miles Davis thing, you think he’ll have the energy?

For looks and style, I like Dwight Ewell.

Kevin Smith fucked with him a couple times for Chasing Amy and Dogma.

The problem with that, of course, is Ewell has No Name in the Street.

And even if critics of the Nina Simone biopic hate the choice of Zoe to play her, they can’t deny that Zoe’s a bankable star that will bring attention to the film.

So no, I’ll probably hafta bring in a star.

But who?

I’m open to suggestion here.

Denzel turns 62 this year so stop.

We’ll need somebody that can also give us a young Jimmy.

And don’t dare mention Chadwick Boseman.

If that brother plays even one more Black historical figure, it better be Jesus.

So who?

I just need an actor.

I don’t need a name for the movie.

That was the easiest part.

Baldwin fans probably knew it all along.

About the Author

Dickie Bhee is a self-styled lunatic, a Renaissance showman, a Class A, Grade A buffoon, a nigga that believes in the greatness of Niggerhood a social gadfly and a genuine Man About Town. Also: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E7NYMP4

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