Stephan James to play Jean-Michel Basquiat in upcoming limited series

The series is set to follow the life of the iconic American artist and will take place in 1980s New York City

Loading the player...

Jean-Michel Basquiat is getting the limited series treatment. Stephan James is set to star and executive produce the upcoming project focused on the iconic painter, per recent reports.

The series, currently untitled, is set to follow the life of Basquiat, and will be set in 1980s New York City. Per Variety, the series will, “showcase the rise of Basquiat, from an obscure graffiti artist to a Neo-expressionist painter of rockstar status. It will also explore Basquiat’s close friendship with Andy Warhol and his ultimate demise.”

Stephan James
Stephan James attends the 2021 AFI Fest Official Screening of Netflix’s “Bruised” at TCL Chinese Theatre on November 13, 2021 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for Netflix)

The series, which is still on the hunt for a writer, will be produced by James’ and Shamier Anderson‘s Bay Mills Studios alongside Boat Rocker Studios. In a statement along with the announcement, James shared, “I am thrilled to partner with Boat Rocker to bring to life the story of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Jean-Michel is an artist I have long revered, and someone who has greatly influenced my work over the years.” James added, “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.”

President of scripted for Boat Rocker Studios, Steve Lescroart, also shared a statement regarding the upcoming project.

“We’re grateful to be working with Shamier, Stephan, and the entire Bay Mills Studios team to tell the story of a visionary artist whose profound cultural influence only continues to grow with time. We know that audiences around the world will be captivated,” Lescroart said.

Sotheby's New York Evening Sales Preview
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 03: ‘Versus Medici’ by Jean-Michel Basquiat is on display during Sotheby’s NY press preview of the upcoming Contemporary Art Evening Auction at Sotheby’s on May 03, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

This is not the first project focused on Basquiat in the works. Kelvin Harrison Jr. is set to take on the role in the upcoming biopic entitled Samo Lives, theGrio previously reported. This film, written directed and produced by  Julius Onah, is the first film on Basquiat helmed by a Black filmmaker. Filming for the project is set to start this fall.

TheGrio is now on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today!

Loading the player...