Spike Lee has signed up to direct a movie about the life of late soul legend James Brown. The Paramount Pictures-funded film will begin shooting in 2008, with A Beautiful Mind producer Brian Grazer at the helm. Before his death, Brown assisted with the movie's development, and granted access to his musical back catalogue for the forthcoming production. Grazer says, "Like everybody, I was surprised and saddened that James Brown died. "Having known him well, and after spending lots of time with him and researching his life, it's somehow not surprising that he died on Christmas Day. He was the ultimate showman, all the way to the end." Brown died of pneumonia on 25 December. He was 73.