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John Legend’s production company, Get Lifted, has partnered with the Bernie Mac estate to make a biopic about the late comedian, Legend’s producing partner Mike Jackson revealed during a panel discussion at the 2021 Tribeca Festival.
“We just partnered with Bernie Mac’s estate to cover Bernie Mac’s story,” Jackson said, seemingly surprising Legend as he said the info was “something that John doesn’t know about yet” and that he was “very excited about” the deal, which “just happened today.”
“Look at you breaking news over here,” Legend said in response.
The two quickly clarified that the project would be a feature film biopic.
Further details were not revealed, but Jackson explained that the project marks a full-circle moment as Legend appeared in one of Mac’s final films.
“The Soul Men reunion you all wanted to see,” Legend said. In the 2008 film, Legend portrayed Marcus Hooks, the bandmember Louis Hinds (Samuel L. Jackson) and Floyd Henderson (Mac) honor in a reunion concert after he dies.
“It’s about the opportunities to tell a story that you feel are important,” Jackson said.
Following the announcement, Legend and Jackson went on to reflect on Mac, who died in 2008, and his legacy. Of The Bernie Mac Show, Legend said: “It was beautifully done…. His humor was always edgy but it always had so much heart to it at the same time. You could tell he was a family man. You could tell that he loved the people he was talking about.”
He also recalled his time working on Soul Men, explaining that Mac enjoyed making people laugh during breaks in filming. “He truly just got joy from lighting people’s faces up with laughter.”
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Jon M. Chu