The paper said producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura is in talks to acquire the film rights to the book, which James is still writing.
James' biggest hit was "Super Freak." He has also written and produced records for such recording artists as the Temptations and Eddie Murphy.
James was sentenced to five years in state prison in California in 1994 for assault and drug convictions and was released after two years.
The Reporter said Dave Chappelle is in line to play James in the movie. Chappelle, who has co-starred in such features as "Con Air" and "Undercover Brother," has played James in sketches on his Comedy Central series, "Chapelle's Show."
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]