R. Kelly And Don Cheadle Were Almost In ‘The Five Heartbeats’? Robert Townsend Reveals He Had To Turn Them Down [WATCH]

by Brianna Moné Williams

December 9, 2018

Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage, Michael Tran/FilmMagic

You’ll soon be able to see all that it took for Robert Townsend to create the iconic 1991 film, “The Five Heartbeats.”

The writer and producer just premiered a new documentary, Making the Five Heartbeats that shows footage of him as a young Black writer/director, who was determined to present a positive and new image of Black people in media, while striving to create a classic. The documentary was written, directed, produced and narrated by Townsend, as well. It also shows behind-the-scenes footage and personal stories with the actor, and other stars: Michael Wright, Harry J. Lennix, Leon Robinson, and Tico Wells.

In an interview with Sway’s Universe, Townsend admits that he turned down a young R. Kelly for a role in the original film during the original audition process, and Don Cheadle too!

“If you like the movie, wait until you see the documentary,” he confessed. Listen to more of his interview below about the documentary [start at 9:49]:

And just when you thought a documentary was enough to relive the nostalgia, it has also been announced that “The Five Heartbeats” is coming to Broadway!

The original film tells the story of a soul-inspired group of five talented singers during the rise of Motown…trials, tribulations, and everything in between through the lens of Townsend‘s character, Donald “Duck” Matthews. Since it debuted, the film has grossed $8,750,400, but after being released to VHS and DVD sparked an iconic craze.

It’s reported that the Broadway play will tell a similar story to the movie, and include music that is recognizable from the original soundtrack. Also just like the movie script, Keenen Ivory Wayans will co-write the play with Townsend.

The 61-year-old told Deadline that he’s in negotiations with a producer already: “…there is a composer, Grammy-Award winner, a guy who has won some big awards who already said he will write an original song for us.”

Could it possibly be R. Kelly? 

TELL US: Who do you think should be cast in the Broadway play?

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