Thursday, June 30, 2022

Sam Cooke Biopic with ‘Murder Mystery’ Angle Officially Gets Green Light


*A biopic based on the life of influential singer Sam Cooke is officially a go.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a deal to develop the film has been struck between music and film producer Romeo Antonio and the revered entertainer’s family. Mary Krell-Oishi will write the film’s script.

For the biopic, various members of Cooke’s family, including L.C. Cooke and Eugene Jamison will act as consultants and provide access to family documents and various people who were notable in Cooke’s life. Among those people is Cooke’s assistant, Zelda Samuels, the singer’s assistant, who, the Reporter notes, already conducted a “five-hour on-camera interview” with Antonio.

News of the biopics comes years after Cooke was found dead in a motel in South Los Angeles in 1964. He was 33. Since his passing, various members of Cooke’s family have weighed in with what may have lead to the tragedy, as they believe that a conspiracy may have existed to kill the vocalist. The theory looks to be rooted in the fact that Cooke was fighting for the rights of Black musicians at the time of his death.

In addition to Cooke’s family, Antonio is working closely with B.G. Rhule, the author of “One More River to Cross: The Redemption of Sam Cooke.”

As for the angle he will take with the biopic, Anthony mentioned that he is out to make his film “shine new light on Cooke’s circumstances.”

“It’s the 60s, you could do it like Selma, but it’s not the direction I’m going with,” Antonio told the Reporter. “My pitch to them was a murder mystery. Who did this? And it’s being written in that fashion.

“I am treating it like a murder investigation,” he adds.

Antonio’s passion for exploring Cooke’s life and death struck a chord with Jamison, who explained how he was won over by the producer.

“For years, people have becoming at us to do a movie about Sam,” Jamison said. “But he was the first person who sounded like he wanted what we wanted: the truth to come out about my uncle and his death.”




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