Nivola Just A Pawn In Chess War

Like Truman Capote and Steve Prefontaine before him, legendary record producer Leonard Chess is about to get the biopic treatment…Twice.

Fresh on the heels of rumors that Beyonce Knowles is set to play Etta James in the Chess film “Cadillac Records,” “Jurassic Park III” star Alessandro Nivola revealed exclusively to MTV News that he’s set to star in a competing Chess project.

“I’m gonna play Leonard. They’ve only just put my deal together,” he enthused. “The rest of the cast is just now gonna start coming together.”

Chess was a record producer who “ended up discovering Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry, Bo Diddly and John Lee Hooker” among others Nivola said.

“He’s this fascinating character that was a Jewish immigrant of Chicago,” Nivola explained of the character. “When he was 11 in the 30s and 40s, he started hanging out on the Southside in the black clubs and got obsessed with black music.”

Interesting to be sure. But why two different movies?

Why not eight, Nivola questioned, calling Chess a bit like “Al Pacino in ‘The Godfather 2.'”

“He was a really controversial figure because, on the one hand, he made is fortune coming from nothing having crossed the racial barrier, and on the other hand he [screwed] a lot of those musicians out of their royalties,” Nivola asserted. “He was a ruthless businessman and not much of a family, somebody who’s a powerful charismatic person but morally ambiguous.”

Sounds like a musical biopic without much music. Do two flicks about Leonard Chess whet your appetite? Sound off below.