Here’s What We Know About The Upcoming Basquiat Biopic
The arthouse legend hits the big screen.
Mad Love
Words by Amar Gera January 6, 2022

Following a renewed interest in neo-expressionist legend Jean-Michel Basquiat in recent years, the arthouse star is getting another biopic…

Titled Samo Lives, the film is set to cover the life and impact of Basquiat’s work, who was a figurehead for the art scene in 1980s New York. Those familiar with his works would be well aware of his influence, with prominent figures such as Jay-Z pointing directly to pieces such as ‘In This Case,’ ‘Warrior’ and ‘Untitled’ as direct inspiration for their subsequent creations.

The film will be heralded by Julius Onah, whose previous directing credits include The Cloverfield Paradox, The Girl Is In Trouble and Luce. The last of which was released to critical acclaim and earned lead star Kelvin Harrison Jr. a nomination at the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Naturally, Harrison is jumping on board for Samo Lives as well, taking on the role of Basquiat as he navigates the art world in the Big Apple.

Speaking on the upcoming project, Onah said “Jean-Michel Basquiat redefined the idea of who ascends to the highest altitudes of the fine art world. But the complexity and richness of his experience as an artist and child of the African diaspora has yet to be dramatized in the manner it deserves.”

This isn’t the first time Basquiat has gotten his own biopic however, with Jeffrey Wright taking on the role in 1996 and David Bowie joining him as Andy Warhol.

Still, it’ll be good to see the artist reimagined through a modern lens. Check out Kelvin Harris Jr. in 2019’s Waves below to get an idea of what he’ll be bringing to the role of Basquiat.


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