/  02.26.2022

A new series about the life of iconic Black artist Jean-Michel Basquiat is currently being developed, Variety reports.

The outlet states If Beale Street Could Talk actor Stephan James is onboard as a producer. His production company Bay Mills Studios in partnership with Boat Rocker Studios is set to bring the eccentric Brooklyn painter’s story to television. 

James will reportedly portray Basquiat in the series, which is set in 1980s New York City. The show will chronicle Basquiat’s meteoric rise from an unknown graffiti artist to a celebrated figure in the neo-expressionist movement. His friendship with Andy Warhol, plus his addiction to drugs will also be covered within the show.

“I am thrilled to partner with Boat Rocker to bring to life the story of Jean-Michel Basquiat,” James said. “Jean-Michel is an artist I have long revered, and someone who has greatly influenced my work over the years.” 

“To embody such a revolutionary, whose influence in the modern era of pop culture is simply immeasurable, will simply be one of the greatest honors of my career,” he added.

The series is currently unnamed and does not have a premiere date. According to Variety, the producers at Bay Mills Studios are also looking for a writer to helm the show. 

Steve Lescroart, the president of scripted for Boat Rocker Studios said his company is “grateful” to be working with James and his partner Shamier Anderson to “tell the story of a visionary artist whose profound cultural influence only continues to grow with time.”

“We know that audiences around the world will be captivated,” he said.                                                                                                  

The limited series joins a long list of shows and movies centered around Basquiat’s life. Variety also reported earlier this year that a film starring “Cyrano” actor Kelvin Harrison Jr. will begin filming this fall. It’s called Samo Lives and is directed by Julius Onah.



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