Since the late 1960s, musician George Clinton has led the Parliament-Funkadelic, the funk music collective that boosted the genre’s popularity and has earned numerous accolades over the decades, including winning Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2019. Well, word’s come in that Clinton is getting his own biopic, and there’s some groovy casting underway, with funnyman Eddie Murphy being lined up to play the Godfather of Funk.
With Eddie Murphy reportedly describing this George Clinton biopic as a “passion project,” the actor is in early talks to star in the upcoming movie. Murphy will also produce alongside John Davis and Catherine Davis from Davis Entertainment, and the trio is currently working to secure the rights to tell Clinton’s story in a cinematic setting. Once that’s accomplished, then they’ll start meeting with writers and look for a place to set up the project.
According to Deadline, the George Clinton biopic will chronicle the musician’s beginnings in 1940s North Carolina, the formation of Parliament and Funkadelic (when they were separate entities) and how he influenced the hip hop artists that followed after him, like Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Outkast and Wu-Tang Clan, among others. Clinton was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, but it’s unclear if the biopic will go that far into his life, if not further.
This won’t be Eddie Murphy’s first time in the musical cinematic scene, as he previously played James “Thunder” Early in the Academy Award-winning 2006 movie Dreamgirls. However, the George Clinton biopic gives him the opportunity to take center stage as one of the most prominent musicians of the 20th century. At the very least, it’s safe to say that Murphy has more than enough funk to play the Parliament-Funkadelic frontman.
After only appearing in a few movies during most of the 2010s, Eddie Murphy made his big return in November 2019 for Netflix’s Dolemite is My Name (another Davis Entertainment flick), where he played Rudy Ray Moore. The following month, Murphy hosted Saturday Night Live (his first time back on the show in nearly three decades) and later won a Primetime Emmy Award for that gig. Then in March 2021, Murphy reprised Akeem Joffer in Coming 2 America, which a lot of people watched on Amazon. Since the actor now has a three-picture deal established with that platform, maybe that’s where the George Clinton biopic could end up.
Because this biopic is in the earliest creative stages, it’ll likely be a long time until we see the completed product. Luckily, this isn’t the only Eddie Murphy movie to look forward to in the coming years. He’s next set to co-star with Jonah Hill in the Netflix movie You People, and that will be followed by his return to the Axel Foley role for Beverly Hills Cop 4 (yes, that’s still in the works). As for what’s to come closer in the future, our 2022 movie releases guide has that information handily available.