Tuesday, December 8, 2009

'Hunger' Director Steve McQueen Announces His Next Project

Steve McQueen is to direct 'Fela' as his next feature film, which is based on the life of African musician and activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti for Focus Features.

McQueen, who made his feature directing debut last year with the brilliant and powerful 'Hunger' will write the script with Biyi Bandele, based on the Michael Veal book "Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon."

The recent broadway musical 'FELA!' has spurred a resurgence of interest in Fela Anikulapo Kuti and his music.

The musical is not connected to the film as Focus is basing its film on a rights package consisting of screen rights to Fela's music and his life story, plus Veal's book.

Fela who died in 1997 is famed for speaking out against oppression in Nigeria and paid a high price for it. In an attack on his home, Fela's 78 year old mother was killed after being thrown from a second-story window. Fela responded by placing her coffin on the steps of the Nigerian leader's residence.

"Fela might be the most globally influential pop artist outside the Beatles in the last 50 years, the Broadway show is pure joy, but Steve and Biyi's vision is very cinematic and distinctive. Fela was a revolutionary figure in world culture, and Steve is an artist who had a strong vision of politics and the world even before he made his first film. They are kindred spirits." said Focus head James Schamus.

Footage Of Fela In Concert