A new series about the life of Jean-Michel Basquiat is in the early stages of development. Per Variety, Stephan James (If Beale Street Could Talk) will take on the role of the late revolutionary artist in the limited series.
The currently untitled project will be set in the art world of 1980s New York City, where Basquiat started out as a street graffiti artist before eventually becoming a cultural icon and central figure of the neo-expressionist movement. It will chart everything from his rise to fame to his close friendship with Andy Warhol and his tragic death at the age of 27 due to an accidental drug overdose.
“I am thrilled to partner with Boat Rocker to bring to life the story of Jean-Michel Basquiat,” James said in a statement. “Jean-Michel is an artist I have long revered, and someone who has greatly influenced my work over the years. To embody such a revolutionary, whose influence in the modern era of pop culture is simply immeasurable, will simply be one of the greatest honors of my career.”
While the project doesn’t have a writer attached yet, executive producers include Katie O’Connell Marsh, Nick Nantell, Shamier Anderson, and James himself.
James’ past screen credits also include roles in 21 Bridges opposite Chadwick Boseman, The CW’s Homecoming, FOX’s Shots Fired, and the Quibi series #FreeRayshawn. The latter scored him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Short-Form Comedy or Drama Series back in 2020, just months before Quibi shut down that December.