A new biopic about famed record executive Neil Bogart, titled Spinning Gold, is set to begin filming in July. Bogart’s son, Timothy Scott Bogart, wrote the screenplay and will serve as the film’s director. The film will tell the story of Bogart and the various artists whom he helped turn into stars on his Casablanca Records label in the late 1970s, from Parliament to Donna Summer to Village People to The Isley Brothers, to Gladys Knight, Bill Withers, and Curtis Mayfield. Neil Bogart died in 1982 at the age of 39 after a battle with cancer.
Last week, Deadline revealed the star-studded cast for the upcoming biopic. Lauded actor Samuel L. Jackson will play the role of Parliament bandleader and eventual funk icon George Clinton. Comedian D.L. Hughely will portray Bootsy Collins, Kenan Thompson (of SNL fame) will portray Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, Jason Isaacs will play the producer’s father, Jason Derulo will play Ron Isley, Jazmine Sullivan will play Gladys Knight, and Steven Strait and X Ambassadors’ Sam Harris will play KISS’ Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, respectively. The film will also feature Neil Patrick Harris as KISS co-manager Bill Aucoin.
Along with the announcement, Timothy Scott Bogart told Deadline that he has resisted numerous offers over the years to sell the rights to his father’s story for various projects. As he explained, “My father was making $100 million a year, at the height of Casablanca, but he quote-unquote ‘forgot’ to pay his taxes, and my inheritance amounted to three years at NYU, a Dodge Daytona and the rights to this story. I was going to protect this with all I had.”
“There were many parts to Neil Bogart, including gambling, womanizing, drugs, but for my father, they were his superpowers,” Timothy continued. “If he wasn’t a gambler like his own father, he wouldn’t have been able to run to Vegas to come back and make payroll. He was a functioning Quaalude user who would operate under the influence in the office or at my Little League games. But when Frankie Crocker scared the shit out of J. Edgar Hoover and every record exec turned his back on him after Frankie was arrested in the payola scandal, my father created a fake album to give him an advance that paid his legal fees. It would be wrong for me or the film to judge these people, though the audience certainly can.”
Bogart has rights to a number of classic songs that will be featured in the film and its accompanying soundtrack including Summers’ “Last Dance“ and “I Feel Love”, Parliament’s “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)”, the Isleys’ “Fight the Power” and “It’s Your Thing,” Knight’s “Midnight Train to Georgia”, Withers’ “Lean on Me”, Mayfield’s “Freddie’s Dead” and “Superfly”, Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Nite”, Village People’s “YMCA” and “In the Navy”, and many more.
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