Mick Jagger Puts Focus on Film Production
With another round of Rolling Stones tour dates on the horizon, one might assume Mick Jagger would be too busy for non-musical pursuits. As a recent profile in the Hollywood Reporter makes clear, however, the ever-restless rock legend always has a lot of projects on his plate — and these days, that includes running a busy film production company.
Jagger’s Hollywood aspirations are nothing new, of course; he has plenty of acting credits on his resume, from 1970’s ‘Ned Kelly’ through 1992’s ‘Freejack’ and beyond. But these days, Jagger’s also doing a lot of work behind the scenes via his Jagged Films imprint, and while there’s no shortage of vanity production banners being operated by rich-and-famous investors looking for a quick tax writeoff, Jagger’s got a number of intriguing irons in the fire.
Chief among them: ‘Get on Up,’ a James Brown biopic starring Chadwick Boseman (’42’) as the Godfather of Soul. A number of other filmmakers (including Spike Lee) have tried to get a cinematic tribute to the Godfather of Soul off the ground to no avail, but Jagger’s project — currently in production with director Tate Taylor at the helm — came together with the support of Brown’s estate, and has drawn a top-shelf cast that includes Boseman, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Tika Sumpter and Dan Aykroyd.
Jagger’s success comes as no surprise to director Martin Scorsese, who’s used the Stones’ music repeatedly in his films and directed the band documentary ‘Shine a Light.’ “Mick is absolutely alone in a very important sense — he’s a consummate artist, performer and businessman,” Scorsese told the Hollywood Reporter. “I have a feeling that nothing escapes his notice. No detail is too small. So, here’s a guy who has been at the center of the music industry for many years, on multiple levels, and he has what appears to be a perfect memory as well as a rich sense of character and of drama, of cinema. . . . Who could be a better artistic collaborator?”
Although Jagger bristles at the notion that he’s only interested in music-driven movies, Jagged is also prepping another rock-inspired project: ‘Last Train to Memphis,’ an Elvis Presley biopic to be directed by Kevin Macdonald (‘The Last King of Scotland’) with musical direction from T Bone Burnett.
Balancing an array of creative endeavors might come as second nature to Jagger at this point — “I’ve been doing it for quite a long time, you know,” he points out in the profile — but there’s one arena he vows never to enter. “I think the rock ‘n’ roll memoir is a glutted market,” he shrugged when asked if he’d ever consider writing his autobiography. “I’d rather be doing something new. I’d rather be making new films, making new music, be touring. If someone wants to know what I did in 1965, they can look it up on Wikipedia without even spending any money.”