felakuti_crop.jpg

Afrobeat has been gaining cred since the Talking Heads days, but it looks like its chief priest, Fela Ransome Kuti, is finally getting his due.

He’s already the subject of one of the better shows on Broadway—the Hov-produced Fela!, which might be more of an on-stage dance party than a strict play—but it looks like he’ll also be getting the biopic treatment, with the consistently awesome Chiwetel Ejiofor in the lead role.

The director’s Steve McQueen (not that Steve McQueen), who’s been making big waves in art-film circles, but mostly we’re excited to see a screen version of one of the more interesting lives in music history. He spent the prime of his career playing chicken with the militarist dictatorship that ruled Nigeria, resulting in a series of astonishingly violent raids on his compound and some of the best protest music ever made. (Think James Brown on a mission.)

Did we mention he had 27 wives?

It should be a good movie.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom