×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Movie Inspired by Prince’s Music in the Works at Universal (EXCLUSIVE)

Universal Pictures has acquired the rights to a number of classic songs from Prince’s catalog and is developing an original film musical inspired by his music, using the songs to drive a fictional narrative.

Insiders stress is that the film is not a biopic but an original story with Prince’s classic songs driving the plotline. The Prince estate has been inquiring with studios about such a film, and Universal Chairman Donna Langley worked aggressively to acquire the rights.

Sources close to the situation say the estate and Universal already felt that the biopic angle had largely been covered by Prince’s 1984 star-making film “Purple Rain” and wanted to do something original and outside the box. Meetings have begun with potential writers and producers and execs are hoping the film can be something like Universal’s “Mamma Mia,” with a completely original story where Prince’s music helps drive that narrative.

Atom Factory’s Troy Carter, the entertainment advisor of Prince’s estate will executive produce alongside Jody Gerson, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, the exclusive worldwide publishing administrator for Prince’s catalog.

Prince sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He won eight Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award for the 1984 film Purple Rain. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

President of Global Film Music and Publishing for Universal Pictures Mike Knobloch is playing a key role in the project for the studio. Universal’s Vice President of Production Sara Scott and Creative Executive Mika Pryce will oversee development on behalf of the studio.

Though the film isn’t a biopic, studios around town have been on the look for the next great musical after the success of Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Universal Pictures has found success in musically-inspired films including franchises such as “Mamma Mia!” and “Pitch Perfect”, as well as film adaptations of musicals such as “Les Miserables.” The studio has also “Last Christmas”, which features the music of George Michael, and the highly anticipated film adaptation of Cats, on next year’s slate.

More Music

  • Taylor Swift "Christmas Tree Farm"

    Taylor Swift's 'Christmas Tree Farm' Video Is a VHS Wonderland

    Taylor Swift may have set a “Farm”-to-market land speed record with the release of “Christmas Tree Farm” Thursday night, just four days after the tune was written, and with much less time than that since it was lushly orchestrated for maximum holiday glee. The biggest revelation of the accompanying video — at least for anyone [...]

  • darlene love

    Darlene Love's Blue Christmas: Singer Says NBC Tree Lighting Organizers Are Ageist

    Darlene Love’s iconic Christmas song, “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home),” was performed Wednesday night on NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” tree lighting special — but the woman who made it famous was iced out and she is furious about it. Love, 78, explained her frustrations on Facebook, calling out Brad Lachman Productions for excluding her [...]

  • Joycelyn Savage, Azriel Clary. Azriel Clary,

    Joycelyn Savage Denies Creating Patreon Account Exposing R. Kelly

    One of R. Kelly’s longtime girlfriends, Joycelyn Savage, has come forward publicly to refute claims that she’s turned on the R&B singer after an Instagram account claiming to be her suggested as much. In a video obtained by TMZ, Savage, first reading pre-written statements on her cell phone, strongly denies the assertion that she had [...]

  • Jagged Little Pill review

    Broadway Review: 'Jagged Little Pill'

    Nearly 25 years after “Jagged Little Pill” hit the shelves of record stores, Alanis Morissette’s innovative 1995 album has arrived on Broadway under the muscular direction of Diane Paulus, who launched this galvanic production at the American Repertory Theater. The show’s supportive book by screenwriter Diablo Cody interprets Morissette’s musical idiom as a universal domestic [...]

  • Who album cover

    Album Review: The Who's 'Who'

    Not only did the death wish expressed 55 years ago in “My Generation” not come true, but the Who have now become the first major rock act of their generation to come up with a whole album that’s actually about getting old. And this from an outfit that pretty much entirely skipped its own middle age, [...]

  • Billie Eilish Makes Her Directorial Debut

    Billie Eilish Makes Her Directorial Debut With ‘Xanny’ Video (Watch)

    In a week with lots of other Billie Eilish things going on — including Variety’s two cover stories, her acoustic performance at Apple’s headquarters and, not least, reports of a multi-million-dollar documentary deal with Apple — a new video from the 17-year-old singer has also arrived. The clip — for the song “Xanny,” from her [...]

  • CMJ Music Marathon to Relaunch in

    CMJ Music Marathon to Relaunch in 2020

    CMJ Music Marathon, the New York-based music festival and conference ran from 1978 until 2016, is apparently relaunching next year. Details are scant, but a tweet from the company’s official account said that the festival is under “new management” — which means that its most-recent CEO, Adam Klein, who was ordered by a judge to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content