Walt Disney Studios is developing an original movie musical based on the songs of American treasure Lionel Richie, Variety has learned exclusively.
Tentatively titled “All Night Long,” the new project will use some of Richie’s greatest hits in a live-action project in early stages of development with a theatrical release in mind, sources said.
Richie and his manager Bruce Eskowitz are producing the project with Cavalry Media executives Dana Brunetti and Matt Del Piano. Screenwriter Pete Chiarelli (“Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Proposal”) is currently at work on the script, added the insiders.
Representatives for Disney and Richie had no immediate comment on the matter.
Richie, a company man thanks to his judge role on Disney-owned ABC’s “American Idol,” sold the pitch to the studio in January. The singer is represented by CAA and Red Light Management.
While the film is more in line with the jukebox musical vibe of the hugely successful “Mamma Mia” films based on the Abba songbook, recent musical movies have generated big box office returns and awards buzz.
Rami Malek took the best actor Oscar for his turn in Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” In 2018, which grossed over $900 million worldwide. The Elton John-based “Rocketman” earned nearly $200 million worldwide and nabbed star Taron Egerton a Golden Globe. Other notable jukebox titles include “Jersey Boys,” “Rock of Ages” and Julie Taymor’s indie darling “Across the Universe,” based on the music of The Beatles.
Richie holds four Grammy awards and has reportedly sold over 100 million records worldwide. He’s a three-time Academy Award nominee for Best Original Song, with one win in 1986 for the song “Say You Say Me” from the film “White Nights.”