The true story of Chevalier de Saint-Georges, known as the “Black Mozart,” is coming to theaters via a hot creative team and Searchlight Pictures, Variety has learned.
“Chevalier de Saint-Georges” was an original feature pitch from Stefani Robinson, the Emmy-nominated and WGA Award-winning writer of FX’s “Atlanta” and “What We Do in the Shadows.” Director Stephen Williams, a DGA Award nominee for “Watchmen” and “Westworld,” will helm the pic.
De Saint-Georges’ story is largely untold and fascinating. Born in 1745 in the French Caribbean, the musical prodigy was the illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner. He rose to improbable heights in French society, dazzling as both a violinist and composer, and a champion fencer. An ill-fated love affair with a French noblewoman, and a falling out with Marie Antoinette and her court led to his untimely downfall.
The Disney-owned prestige house Searchlight will finance and distribute the project, which will be overseen by senior vice president of production DanTram Nguyen, director of production Zahra Phillips and manager Cornelia Burleigh. WME and manager Ken Stovitz negotiated on Williams’ behalf. Robinson is repped by Dianne McGunigle of MGMT Entertainment, Sean Barclay at Gersh and Lev Ginsburg of Ginsburg Daniels LLP.
Williams was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, and educated in the U.K. His breakout 1995 film, “Soul Survivor,” played Cannes to critical acclaim, before he moved to premium dramas series like “The Americans,” “The Walking Dead,” “Ray Donovan” and “Westworld.” He directed the much-lauded sixth episode of HBO’s “Watchmen,” titled “The Extraordinary Being.”
Robinson has an exclusive overall production deal at FX to develop series for the platform and others. She’ll return for a third season of “What We Do in the Shadows” and “Atlanta,” and will contribute to the fourth season of the Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning limited series “Fargo” as a part of her deal. “Chevalier” marks her feature writing debut.