February 12, 2008 / 5:56 AM / 12 years ago

Alessandro Nivola to play blues mogul in "Chess"

Alessandro Nivola poses at the red carpet during the premiere of the film "The Eye" in Los Angeles, California January 31, 2008. REUTERS / Hector Mata

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Alessandro Nivola, in theaters with the horror remake “The Eye,” will star in “Chess,” one of two competing movies revolving around Leonard Chess, the record mogul who signed such acts as Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry.

Nivola will play the self-made music impresario whose Chicago-based Chess Records label provided a mainstream platform for blues and early rock ‘n’ roll.

David Oyelowo (“The Last King of Scotland”) will play Waters, while Jon Abrahams (“Boston Public”) will play Phil Chess, Leonard’s younger brother. Jerry Zaks is directing. Shooting is set to begin April 7 in New Orleans.

The film will compete against Sony BMG Film’s “Cadillac Records.” Adrien Body stars as Leonard Chess, Jeffrey Wright as Waters, and Cedric the Entertainer as singer/songwriter Willie Dixon. Filming starts next month in New Jersey and Mississippi.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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