Following in the footsteps of Ray Charles and Johnny Cash, the latest musical superstar to get the big-screen biopic treatment might be R&B godfather Sam Cooke--today Billboard reported that a screenplay has been completed and the search is officially on for a director for the Cooke film.
The bad news: The screenwriters are Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, who wrote that miserable "Beatles movie" Across the Universe.
The good news: Clement and La Frenais adapted their screenplay from Peter Guralnick's definitive Cooke biography, Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke. Hopefully that means the film will be factual and cover all points along Cooke's brilliant and tragic timeline: gospel beginnings, soul megastar, civil-rights activist, and premature death by homicide.
The big question is, who's going to play the handsome Cooke?
My good colleagues here at SW and I have assembled the following list of possibilities, with some disregard for plausibilities:
Blair Underwood: A reasonable option--the resemblance is there, and Underwood is due for a big move from TV to movies. Also I just Wiki'ed him and learned that he is from Tacoma, like me, so I'm rooting for him out of solidarity.