Afrobeat Musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti Inspires New Film

News   Afrobeat Musician Fela Anikulapo Kuti Inspires New Film Late African musician and political activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti, who is the subject of the new Broadway musical Fela!, will have his story told in a new feature film.

Variety reports that director Steve McQueen will direct the film that will be based on the Michael Veal book "Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon." McQueen and Biyi Bandele will pen the screenplay.

Focus Features is behind the film that is unrelated to the Broadway musical that opened to strong reviews Nov. 23 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre. As with the Broadway production, the film adaptation of Kuti's life will also incorporate his catalogue of Afrobeat music. Lydia Pilcher and Leigh Blake are set to produce the screen project.

Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones co-conceived the musical Fela!, which he also directs and choreographs. The production stars Sahr Ngaujah and Kevin Mambo, who alternate in the title role.