Rick James Authorized Miniseries 'Brother's Keeper' In Development
Photo Credit: WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - 1987: "Super Freak" funk and soul singer Rick James poses during a 1987 West Hollywood, California photo session. Plagued with a history of drug and alcohol abuse, James died of apparent natural causes in 2004. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

Rick James Authorized Miniseries 'Brother's Keeper' In Development

Brother’s Keeper, a miniseries on the lives of Rick James and his brother LeRoi Johnson, is in development, Shadow and Act has learned.

The project is from filmmaker Addison Henderson, who is working with Johnson on the authorized project.  The project will follow Rick and LeRoi from their early days in the Buffalo projects to their worldwide achievements, both individually and united.  The official description: Growing up, the brothers could not have taken more different paths. Rick became a celebrated singer-songwriter, musician, and producer best known for hit songs Super Freak and Mary Jane. And LeRoi, a Georgetown Law graduate, pursued a legal career and worked his way up the political ladder in Washington, DC. No stranger to controversy and always ready to challenge the establishment, Rick rose to musical fame by doing things his own way. Behind the scenes, LeRoi was right there using his business and legal skills to support Rick and guide his career over the decades. 

Johnson said he chose Henderson for the film because “he has the skills and qualities of the producer and director that are needed for this project. He has the talent, drive and ability to do a series of this importance.”

“There is no one out there, period, who knows my brother’s story like I do. People know pieces, but no one knows the full story,” he added.

Henderson’s project, The Healer, was one of only 10 selected for the Producers Guild of America Power of Diversity Master Workshop. He is now in talks with multiple distribution companies about his most recent film G.O.D. (Givers of Death), which won the Best Screenplay award at this year’s American Black Film Festival.

“I spent many hours over the past year and a half with LeRoi soaking up the stories and turning them into a storyline for a film. But there ended up being so much to tell, so many dynamic moments in these brothers’ lives, the script evolved into a seven-episode mini-series,” added Henderson. “I feel like this partnership with LeRoi was destined to happen. Our family history and the years I have invested in perfecting my craft has led me to this moment. It’s an opportunity to fulfill a dream and bring these icons’ lives to the screen.”

They are aiming for production to start in 2021 in  Buffalo, New York, with Toronto, Ontario and Los Angeles, California as additional filming locations.

Photo: George Rose/Getty Images

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