Casting Call: Sam Cooke, Legend

Published March 29, 2013

In which we suggest who should star in the next big adaptation, remake, or historical film.

It’s hard not to feel for Sam Cooke. Listen to his posthumous single “A Change is Going to Come,” and you think of the accidental death of Cooke’s young son, Vincent, whom he was mourning when he wrote the song; the nascent struggle of the Civil Rights movement, which the song is about; Cooke’s own death under suspicious circumstances at age 33; and even Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2008, when he paraphrased Cooke’s lyrics, “It’s been a long time coming, but tonight… change has to come to America.” Cooke was no saint—like many famous men of the past and present, Cooke had many affairs—but this is not the legacy that lasts. Cooke remains a tragic artist and activist.

It seems there is always a soul singer biopic in the works, but one we hope makes it into production is that of Sam Cooke. A biopic was first announced two years ago, but earlier this week a new director, Carl Franklin (House of Cards), was tied to the project. According to Indiewire, casting is now “underway.” Click through the slideshow above to see who we think should play Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, et al.

Casting Call runs every Friday. For more, click here.