An original movie inspired by Prince songs is in the works from Universal Pictures, according to Variety. The studio has acquired the rights to several of the icons tracks, though it has not yet been reported which songs will make the cut for this mysterious film. The formula here seems to be “Mamma Mia!, but make it Prince”—which, considering how wildly successful the ABBA-inspired franchise has been, seems like a great way to craft an instant blockbuster.
Per Variety, the project will decidedly not be a biopic, but rather a movie inspired by the narratives of various Prince songs. Nor will it be a blasphemous revamp of Purple Rain, the semi-biographical 1984 film starring Prince as a singer simply named “The Kid,” which was coupled with the chart-topping, Grammy-winning album of the same name.
As Variety notes, Universals Donna Langley fought hard for the rights to several treasured Prince tracks, and for good reason (besides, you know, the Prince of it all): along with horror movies, movies inspired by music legends have proven recently to be box-office gold. Just look at Mamma Mia! 2, which made nearly $394 million worldwide this year, or Bohemian Rhapsody, the unstoppable Queen biopic that has made $540 million worldwide since November—despite receiving negative reviews and skimping on certain details about lead singer Freddie Mercurys love life. More of these movies is what the people want!
Creatives have not yet been attached to the Prince project, but Universal is reportedly in talks with writers and producers. Troy Carter, the entertainment adviser of Princes estate, will executive produce the project, as will Jody Gerson, the chairman and C.E.O. of Universal Music Publishing Group, which publishes the singers catalog.
This is one of a handful of projects to which Princes estate has given its blessing, following recent news that Oscar-nominated director Ava DuVernay is working on a documentary about the Purple One for Netflix. The filmmaker revealed in late October that the Prince estate has allowed her to visit Paisley Park, the singers legendary Minnesota abode, for research. Shes also been granted full access to his archival recordings, home to a trove of guarded, valuable, previously unreleased material.
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