Ian McShane (Hercules, Deadwood) and Nelsan Ellis (Get On Up, True Blood) have joined Dan Pritzker’s biopic Bolden. Gary Carr (Downton Abbey) stars as legendary musician Buddy Bolden, whom many consider the father of jazz. Pic is set in 1931 New Orleans, when Buddy Bolden, a long-time asylum inmate, hears the strains of a Louis Armstrong concert drift into his room from the radio in a nearby nurse’s station. The sound evokes memories of his long-forgotten youth as a ground-breaking cornetist, when he played and improvised his way to the forefront of a new musical style, ultimately creating what would evolve decades later into jazz. Multiple Grammy winner Wynton Marsalis composed the score.
Pritzker conceived, wrote and directs Bolden. He completed the first round of filming in 2010 and will finish the pic with new scenes this fall. Because of the production hiatus, the title role of Bolden was recast with Carr replacing Anthony Mackie, whose schedule could not accommodate the new shooting schedule. McShane will portray Bolden’s nemesis Judge Perry, while Ellis will play the role of Bartley, the wily entrepreneur who manages the Bolden Band.
Jon Cornick and Michele Tayler are producing with Leonard Loventhal, Ed Arrendrell and Marsalis exec producing. McShane is repped by ICM Partners, Independent Talent Group, Gallant Management and Nelson Davis Wetzstein. Ellis is with ICM Partners and Brookside Artist Management.