The wild ride that is Rick James’ life story will soon be made into a biographical limited series. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal Studio Group’s UCP has announced “Super Freak,” a “funkadelic mix of music biopic and true crime” that will document the controversial funk icon’s rise to stardom through the ‘60s, ‘70s and 1980’s.
The series will also reportedly cover James’ plans for a career comeback in the ‘90s, which was plagued by his kidnapping and assault convictions. Deadline reports that “Super Freak” will also touch on the late singer’s battle with drug addiction, as well as “timely themes of race, privilege and the gray area of image vs. reality for celebrities.”
James’ daughter, Ty, has signed on as an executive producer and Randy McKinnon will write, direct and also executive produce the series.
“We are truly ecstatic about this new project with UCP and extremely excited to work with the writer Randy McKinnon,” Ty told Hollywood Reporter. “We are confident he can give the fans exactly what they have been waiting on, plus some. This will be a magic carpet ride, with ups and downs, joys and pain — a story of perseverance and tenacity, with the music being the greatest navigation system. Get ready for the ride of your lives — the story of James A. Johnson, aka Rick James.”
Other executive producers on the series will include Nick Antosca, Alex Hedlund and journalist Mike Sager, who wrote a Rolling Stone profile about James in 1995 and was friends with the singer until James’ death in 2004.
Prior to “Super Freak,” James’ autobiography, Confessions of Rick James: Memoir of a Super Freak, was posthumously published in 2007 and contained stories from the “Mary Jane” artist himself. James’ other biography Glow, named for his 1985 album, was also released in 2015.
So far, a date for the series’ premiere has not yet been announced.