‘Samo Lives': Kevin Harrison Jr. to Star as Jean-Michel Basquiat in Biopic

·2-min read

Kevin Harrison Jr. (“Cyrano”) is set to star as the late American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat in the new biopic “Samo Lives.” The announcement was made on the film’s website.

Julius Onah is set to write, direct and produce the biopic. Onah reunites with Harrison who previously collaborated on Independent Spirit Award-nominated film “Luce.” Onah co-wrote the script with Peter Glanz.

“Samo Lives” was developed by Endeavor Content and the biopic will tell and celebrate the incredible origins and global legacy of the New York-born, Haitian-Puerto Rican American artist, whose seminal paintings and street art defined the Neo-expressionism arts movement in the 1980s.

“Jean-Michel Basquiat redefined the idea of who ascends to the highest altitudes of the fine art world. But the complexity and richness of his experience as an artist and child of the African Diaspora has yet to be dramatized in the manner it deserves,“ Onah said in a statement. “It’s an honor to work with Kelvin and my collaborators, and with Endeavor Content, to celebrate the legacy of an artist who has invited audiences everywhere to be inspired by the transformative power of art.”

“Samo Lives” will be financed by Endeavor Content and produced by Onah, John Baker, Rob Feng, and Eric Ro, with Harrison as executive producer. Production is expected to begin in fall 2022.

Harrison Jr. most recently starred in “Cyrano” opposite Peter Dinklage and is also set to set to voice a young Scar in Barry Jenkins’ “The Lion King” prequel.

Onah is represented by CAA, LBI Entertainment, and Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown and Passman. Harrison Jr. is represented by WME, Stride Management and Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano. Glanz is represented by ICM, Mosaic, and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller and Gellman.

Variety first reported the news.

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