News, reviews and commentary on afrobeat and related music from Africa, The Caribbean and The Americas

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Steve McQueen Fela Film in Production

By David McDavitt

Whoever thought theater would be the savior of Afrobeat music? 100-plus afrobeat bands have been pounding away in relative obscurity for the last 15 years or so, delighting only the privileged few with the secret knowledge of Baba Kuti’s unique groove. Then along comes the powerful Broadway play, “Fela!” attracting an impressive pop following and critical acclaim, educating thousands about Afrobeat and “Felasophy.” Awesome. It’s powerful when your girlfriend’s 64 year old mother asks you to borrow some Fela CD’s.

No doubt in great thanks to “Fela!” on Broadway’s success, now Afrobeat fans will be treated to another miracle, a Fela Hollywood film!

Focus Features has hired British director Steve McQueen (“Hunger”) to direct, ad co-write the script with the award-winning, Nigeria-born playwright Biyi Bandele (adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s, “Things Fall Apart”/ Shakespeare Theater Co.).

"Fela might be the most globally influential pop artist outside the Beatles in the last 50 years," Focus Features’ James Schamus told Variety.

Everybody say, “yeah yeah!”

1 comment:

  1. Fela is a legend and not only for his music, but because of his activism and they way he faced and stood up to the then Nigerian military rulers. I hope the film will not focus only on the music, because the music is only part of who Fela really was. The musician, politacal activist and so on..