Seemingly every week brings with it news of some famous musician getting the biopic treatment, only for us to never hear of it again, so the fact that a film based on the life and career of Sam Cooke has a finished script and is currently looking for a director means it’s already won half the battle. Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais—who previously provided the bland romance and mix-tape medley of ’60s social issues for Julie Taymor’s Across The Universe—may not be the most encouraging names that could be attached to Cooke’s story, but it at least has some grounding in Peter Guralnick’s biography, Dream Boogie: The Triumph Of Sam Cooke. And as long as they’ve avoided the temptations of mixing facts and fantasy (as they also once planned to do with the Rolling Stones) and just stick to Cooke’s life, we should be fine.
Luckily, Billboard reports that the biopic will cover Cooke “from childhood through his years as a gospel singer, a pop star, civil rights activist, and eventually a label owner and music publisher,” and since we don’t see anything in there about animation or extended allegories set to dance numbers—and on the plus side, Clement and La Frenais also wrote The Commitments—we’re already cautiously backing it. And hey, having proved that you can announce a music biopic and then also actually follow through with it, perhaps this will encourage some of those other rumored projects to finally take flight. And on a personal note, maybe now we can get some financiers for own biopic, Rico Suave, Rico Duro: The Gerardo Story.