Pop Culture

James Brown biopic 'Get on Up' releases funky first trailer

Legendary Godfather of Soul James Brown is dancing again in the new trailer for "Get on Up," an upcoming film about Brown's life and times.

The lively, nearly three-minute-long trailer shows snippets of Brown's early impoverished life in the South (he grew up mainly in a brothel owned by his aunt), his time spent in prison for armed robbery and his rise to superstardom. In one clip, Brown travels to Vietnam to perform for American troops, only to find that singers aren't safe there either.

"They tried to kill James Brown today!" he barks at a soldier. "You want to go down in history as the man who killed the funk?"

("Get on Up" is a Universal Studios film; TODAY.com is owned by NBC Universal.)

Chadwick Boseman, who played Jackie Robinson in "42," plays Brown, with Viola Davis playing his mother and Octavia Spencer his aunt. Both Taylor and Spencer starred in "The Help," and that film's director, Tate Taylor, also directs "Get On Up." Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger is one of the producers, and is briefly portrayed by an actor in the film. Jagger told TODAY's Willie Geist that he admired Brown so much he used to blatantly steal his dance moves.

"Get on Up" opens Aug. 1.