Mos Chuck

Here's some interesting casting news: Mos Def has been hired to play Chuck Berry in the currently filming "Cadillac Records." The film takes places in Chicago in the 1950s and is based on the story of Chess Records, the label founded by Leonard and Phil Chess (played by Adrien Brody and Shiloh Fernandez). Chess, of course, was the little record company that released the big sound of the Chicago blues and paved the way for rock and roll, and the cast looks like an R&B drooler's fantasy: Jeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters, Cedric the Entertainer as Willie Dixon, Eamonn Walker as the great Howlin' Wolf. Oh, and Beyonce as Etta James -- better get started with the donut diet, Beyonce. Plus Mos Def as Berry, the man who with "Maybellene" (originally called "Ida Red") brought the label roaring into the early rock era. Wesley and I were talking the other day about how Def ("Be Kind Rewind," "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy") is a fine, original actor who seems content to take character roles when he has the stuff to be a real star. I doubt this will change things but I'm still hankering to see what he does with Chuck Berry.

The film's the brainchild of writer/director Darnell Martin and she's currently filming in New Jersey. No release date is set, so we'll have to make do with the music for now.

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