*Steve McQueen has confirmed he has dropped out of the planned biopic about Nigerian musician Fela Kuti. Also out is his “12 Years a Slave” star Chiwetel Ejiofor, who would’ve played the lead.
“They didn’t have the money. It’s just one of those things that happens in this business,” McQueen told The Hollywood Reporter.
The filmmaker began to develop the biopic years ago for Focus Features, along with producer Lydia Dean Pilcher.
When McQueen dropped out as director, he was replaced by Nigerian director Andrew Dosunmu. Still, he’s credited as the main writer of the script. Yet when asked about it at the Palm Springs Film Festival Gala on Jan. 4, he told The Hollywood Reporter: “The movie is dead. They didn’t have the money. It’s just one of those things that happens in this business.”
Dean Pilcher tells THR that the film will move forward: “James Schamus is doing a revise now. Steve may get a writing credit at the end of the day, or he might not.”