Kelvin Harrison Jr. to participate in Basquiat Biopic Samo Lives

LONDON, ENGLAND - D. 07. DECEMBER: Kelvin Harrison Jr.  participates in the British premiere of

LONDON, ENGLAND – D. 07. DECEMBER: Kelvin Harrison Jr. participates in the British premiere of “CYRANO” at the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on December 7, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer / Getty Images for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures & Universal Pictures)
Photo: Jeff Spicer (Getty Images)

The famous artist Jean-Michel Basquiat gets made another biopic about his life. About Variety, Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Cyrano, The lawsuit against Chicago 7) is set to play the lead role, with Julius Onah producing / directing and co-writing with Peter Glanz (The longest week).

Samo is alive “will celebrate the life, career and impact of the pioneering New York-born, Haitian-Puerto Rican American artist whose landmark paintings and street art defined the neo-expressionist art movement of the 1980s.”

On the film’s website samolives.com, Onah issued a statement describing Basquiat’s influence and how the director plans to honor the artist’s legacy through the film.

“Jean-Michel Basquiat redefined the idea of ​​who ascends to the highest heights in the art world. But the complexity and richness of his experience as an artist and child of the African diaspora has not yet been dramatized in the way it deserves,” wrote Onah. “It is an honor to work with Kelvin and my collaborators and with Endeavor Content to celebrate the legacy of an artist who has invited audiences everywhere to be inspired by the transformative power of art.”

Basquiat is one of the most influential artists of our time and has a very special place for black art enthusiasts. Onah gives a lot of bold promises about how the film will be approached and we hope the director is able to live up to them all.

The artist’s life was previously portrayed in the 1996 film Basquiat, which stars a young Jeffrey Wright, and is directed by Julian Schnabel. While Onah cites the film as an inspiration, the filmmaker also knows how important it is that this story is told by a black director.

“It was an entrance for a child who was desperate to find artists he could see himself in. But the older I got, and the more I learned about Jean-Michel, the more I began to feel that his story had not quite been told in the cinema. “Onah wrote.” We have never seen the full spectrum of Basquiat’s incredible life as a black artist and a child of the immigrant-African diaspora. And the richness and nuance of his journey is a story worthy of to be celebrated. “

Harrison and Onah have previously worked together on the critically acclaimed Light, which saw both nominated for the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

“The sensitivity and soulfulness that Kelvin will bring is the reason I know that the story I seek to tell will truly honor Jean-Michel’s legacy,” Onah continued.

Harrison, on the other hand, has a jam-packed program. Next, Harrison can be seen playing alongside Peter Dinklage in the musical Cyrano, which is scheduled for wide release on February 4th. He’s also set to vote Scar in Barry Jenkins’ Lions King prequel, portraits BB King in the upcoming Elvis Presley biography and starring Chevalier de Saint-Georges in Chevalier.

Interested in a Basquiat movie with Kelvin Harrison Jr.?

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