'Soul Train' TV Show to Make a Stop on the Big Screen
by Ethan Anderton
August 26, 2009
That's right ladies and gentlemen it's time for the Souuuuul Train! If you thought Step Up 3D was going to provide all the hip-hop dance cinema you would need for the next decade, you were dead wrong. Variety reports the longest, continuously-running first-run syndicated program "Soul Train" will be the focus of a forthcoming film to be scripted by screenwriter Malcolm Spellman. Porter/Geller Productions will produce along with the show's producer and host Don Cornelius, who Spellman refers to as "the godfather of cool" and has been at the helm of the program for all of its 35 seasons from 1971 to its conclusion in 2006.
No word on if this will be a sort of historical, biographical picture, but we are told that Spellman is looking to set the film in the 1980's. One thing that's for sure - this film will have one hellacious soundtrack. Spellman also comments on the heavy dance element that Soul Train will bring to the silver screen, "All of the hip-hop street dances you see today were born during that time period and were first seen on that show, and I remember doing all of them when I was a kid." One also wonders that with the recent passing of Michael Jackson, if there might be some sort of homage to the King of Pop who had such a dominant reign on the music charts throughout the 1980's.
Though at first my interest in this project was almost non-existent, I realized this could be a fun musical romp through television history. As of now I'm imagining this film coming together with the flare of rhythm and blues meeting something like the Corny Collins Show from Hairspray but without all the cheese. And with 35 seasons of material to draw from, I'm sure that there's plenty of storylines they can blend together. But with the third installment of the Step Up franchise coming to theaters next year, and the forthcoming hip-hop heavy musical Fame, I wonder if audiences will still clamor for a ride on the Soul Train?