Focus Features in tune with Fela Kuti biopic

Nigerian musician also was political maverick

PARK CITY -- Focus Features is developing a biopic about Fela Kuti, the Nigerian musician and political maverick.

Focus has acquired the book "Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon" by Michael Veal as source material.

Kuti, whose full name is Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, garnered fame in the U.S. for his fusion style of music known as Afrobeat. He often was imprisoned on what human-rights groups called trumped-up charges when he went back to his native country and spoke out against its government and policies. He died in 1997.

Focus has a host of internationally oriented projects, including a biopic of Serge Gainsbourg and the Spanish-language "Sin Nombre," which premieres at the Sundance Film Festival.
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