Actor/comedian Jamie Foxx will star as legendary musician Ray Charles in Crusader Entertainment's "Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Story," for which Mark Rydell ("For the Boys," "On Golden Pond") is

Actor/comedian Jamie Foxx will star as legendary musician Ray Charles in Crusader Entertainment's "Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Story," for which Mark Rydell ("For the Boys," "On Golden Pond") is in talks to direct. Written by newcomer Jimmy White, the script follows Charles' rags-to-riches story from his poor beginnings in Albany, Ga., to his rise through the music industry while battling racism, drug use, and problems in love. Charles, now 71, lost his sight to glaucoma at age 6.

"Jamie's talent and versatility make him an ideal choice to play someone as charismatic and beloved as Ray Charles," Crusader Entertainment president Howard Baldwin said. "We were looking for someone who could capture all of the nuances that make Ray such a remarkable performer and person -- the lows, the highs and the sheer joy that have helped create an amazing life."

Last year, Crusader Entertainment made a long-term deal for the option on all entertainment rights to Charles' life story, marking the first time the artist has allowed his tale to serve as inspiration for a feature film. Taylor Hackford ("Proof of Life," "Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock'N'Roll") had been attached to direct but is no longer on board.

Charles' first new album in six years, "Thanks for Bringing Love Around Again," is due today (May 7) from the artist's own Crossover Records.