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CASABLANCA FILM GETS A START DATE

After nearly a decade of fits and starts, the Neil Bogart/Casablanca Records story finally has a start date for filming: 7/16 in Montreal, according to Deadline.

Bogart’s son, Timothy Scott Bogart, wrote and will direct  Spinning Gold with Broadway actor Jeremy Jordan playing Neil, the man who signed Donna Summer, KISS, Parliament and the Village People and led one of the music industry’s most extravagant lifestyles.

Bogart died in 1982 of cancer and lymphoma at 39.

Samuel L. Jackson will portray George Clinton, Jason Derulo is Ron Isley, Jay Pharoah plays WBLS DJ Frankie Crocker, D.L. Hughley will put on the thigh-high footwear and specs to play Bootsy Collins, Jazmine Sullivan takes on Gladys Knight, and Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley will be played by Steven Strait and X AmbassadorsSam Harris. (KISS has invited their doppelgangers to be their opening act during some upcoming shows for filming purposes.)

Neil Patrick Harris will play KISS co-manager Bill Aucoin; producers plan to cast a singer as Summer.

Bogart’s Boardwalk Entertainment is financing the picture with Jessica MartinsHero Entertainment. Among the producers are Laurence Mark (The Greatest Showman), Bogart’s brother Evan, Harvey Mason Jr., Wei Zheng and Gary Randall, who has been involved with the project for years.

The project has been kicking around for decades and in 2011, Justin Timberlake was announced as the star and a producer. In 2013, Sony bought worldwide rights on the movie.

Bogart told Deadline the soundtrack, released through Boardwalk Records, will include Summers’ “Last Dance and “I Feel Love,” Parliament’s “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)” the Isleys’ “Fight the Power” and “It’s Your Thing,” Knight’s “Midnight Train to Georgia,” Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me,” Curtis Mayfield’s “Freddie’s Dead” and “Superfly,” Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Nite,” Village People’s “YMCA” and “In the Navy,” and “Oh Happy Day” by the Edwin Hawkins Singers.

ICM Partners is repping worldwide distribution rights on the picture. The timing might be perfect: Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman reveal a thirst for movies packed with well-known songs from the '70s. 

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