As one online music publication (COS) notes, Rick James has one of the craziest life stories in music history, which is probably the reason Universal decided to develop a limited series under the title Super Freak. It will speak about James’ musical career and quite a few legal issues he was faced with.
Industry insider magazine Hollywood Reporter, says that the studio is describing the series as “a funkadelic mix of music biopic and true crime” that will trace the singer’s come-up in the ’60s, the “Super Freak” years of the ’80s, and his mid-90s comeback that was derailed by kidnapping and assault charges and debilitating crack addiction. In addition to those violent charges back in the ’90s, a woman sued his estate earlier this year for an alleged sexual assault back in 1979.
Writing and co-production will be in the hands of Randy McKinnon (author of Notes From a Young Black Chef and screenwriter for Netflix’s Grand Army). Among others involved are James’ daughter, Ty James, Nick Antosca (The Act, Chucky), Alex Hedlund, and journalist Mike Sager, who profiled James for Rolling Stone in 1995 and remained his friend until the singer’s 2004 death.
Ty James said, “[w]e 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.”