Black biopics Hollywood should make right now Part 3

After receiving positive input from our readers regarding parts one and two of the series, I decided to do another round of actors and actresses I would cast in the leading roles of these Black biopics Hollywood should make right now. There could be an Oscar nomination for the fortunate performer willing to take on the challenge.

The Ashford & Simpson Story starring DB Woodside and Wendy Raquel Robinson

The successful songwriting duo enjoyed careers as a successful writing and producing team. They started their career writing for artists such as Aretha Franklin, the 5th Dimension, and Ray Charles. 

Ray Charles brought them to the attention of Motown chief Berry Gordy. Upon joining the Motown staff, they were paired with duo Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. 

They wrote and produced songs for Diana Ross, including “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” and The Boss.

Other artists with whom Ashford & Simpson had hits were Teddy Pendergrass’s “Is It Still Good to Ya” and Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman.” 

David Bryan Woodside, best known for portraying singer Melvin Franklin in The Temptations, would be a no-brainer as Nick Ashford. Wendy Raquel Robinson, best known as sports agent Tasha Mack on The CW and BET comedy series The Game, would lead an equally creditable performance as Valerie Simpson. 

The Quincy Jones Story starring Andre Holland 

Quincy Delight Jones Jr. is a legendary producer, songwriter, arranger, and film and television producer whose career spans 72 years, with 28 Grammy Awards.

In the 1950s, Jones began his distinguished jazz arranger and conductor career. He moved on to produce the pop hit record “It’s My Party” for Lesley Gore. He was an arranger and conductor for several collaborations between the jazz artists Count Basie and Frank Sinatra.

In collaboration with pop star Michael Jackson, Jones produced three of the most successful albums of all time. They are Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982), and Bad (1987). In 1985, Jones produced the charity song “We Are the World,” which raised millions of dollars for victims of famine in Ethiopia.

Among his many awards are the John F. Kennedy Center honors, which he received in 2001, 

The National Medal of Arts was given to him In March 2011 by President Barack Obama, and he was inducted into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame in 2021.

Andre Holland, who portrayed activist and politician Andrew Young in the 2014 film Selma, would be ideal for this Oscar-winning role of a lifetime. (Given the correct script) 

The Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. Story starring Carmen Ejogo and Brian J. White 

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. have been married since 1969. The duo were members of the 5th Dimension. Their solo hits were “I Hope We Get to Love in Time,” “Your Love,” and “You Don’t Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)”. In the summer of 1977, Davis and McCoo became the first African American married couple to host a network television series. “You Don’t Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)” later won them a Grammy Award.

Brian Joseph White, best known for his many television and film appearances in Stomp the Yard ( 2005), I Can Do Bad All by Myself (2009), and Good Deeds (2012), would be ideal in the role as Billy Davis Jr. Carmen Elizabeth, best known for her roles in such films as Metro (1997), Sparkle (2012), and Selma (2014), should be cast in the role of Marilyn McCoo.

The Berry Gordy Story starring Hosea Chanchez  

Berry Gordy Jr. is best known as the founder of the iconic Motown Records, which featured musical acts such as the Supremes, Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson Five, Mary Wells, and the list goes on. Gordy composed or co-composed a number of the label’s hits. He was known to take a hands-on approach to directing the public image and choreography of label acts. Motown’s contributions and effects on Soul and R&B music will be felt for generations. 

I would like to see a biographic movie highlighting everything there’s to know about Berry Gordy: good, bad, and indifferent. I am sure everything was not peachy behind the scenes when dealing with lead singers’ diva-like attitudes. I want to know what led him to sell the record label he founded. What did he think when the Motown changed ownership for a second? Was the downfall of disco music also the downfall of Motown? 

Hosea Chanchez, the actor known for his role as football player Malik Wright on The CW and BET sitcom The Game, would be well suited in this starring role.

SPECIAL MENTION
The subjects for my ensemble cast list of Black biopics Hollywood should make right are the Staples Singers, Isley Brothers, Pointer Sisters, Clef Club New York {A professional organization for the advancement of black musicians and entertainers}, and 333rd Field Artillery Battalion {the remaining 11 black soldiers who were massacred by the SS during WWII}.

Lastly, I would like to see a movie based on the soon-to-be-released book THE SISTERHOOD: How a Network of Black Women Writers Changed American Culture by Courtney Thorsson. One Sunday afternoon in February 1977, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange, and several other Black women writers met in June Jordan’s Brooklyn apartment to eat gumbo, drink champagne, and discuss their work. OMG, the stories this limited television series would tell!!

Black biopics Hollywood should make right now Part 1

Black biopics Hollywood should make right now Part 2