Prince movie in the works

Story to be told in style of Mamma Mia movies

Simcoe Reformer - Times-Reformer - - ENTERTAINMENT - WENN

Prince’s mu­sic is to fea­ture in a new movie mu­si­cal in the style of Abba’s Mamma Mia.

Ac­cord­ing to Va­ri­ety mag­a­zine, bosses at Univer­sal Pic­tures have ac­quired the rights to sev­eral of the late mu­si­cian’s clas­sic tracks from his es­tate and plan to fea­ture the songs in a film with a fic­tional nar­ra­tive — much like the Swedish group’s hit stage show and films.

Sources tell the mag­a­zine es­tate of­fi­cials and Univer­sal chiefs have de­cided against mak­ing a biopic of the 1999 hit­maker, who died in April 2016, as they feel his life was al­ready cov­ered ex­ten­sively in his 1984 semi-au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal film Pur­ple Rain, in which he played a rock star based on him­self.

Va­ri­ety edi­tors re­port that ex­ec­u­tives have al­ready started meet­ing with po­ten­tial writers and pro­duc­ers to dis­cuss the pro­ject, in­spired by the success of Mamma Mia, which started life as a mu­si­cal that used ABBA’s mu­sic to tell the story of a young woman who in­vites three men who she be­lieves could be her fa­ther to her Greek is­land wed­ding.

Ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers al­ready at­tached to the pro­ject in­clude Troy Carter, the en­ter­tain­ment advisor of Prince’s es­tate, and Jody Gerson, Chair­man and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of Univer­sal Mu­sic Pub­lish­ing Group, the world­wide pub­lish­ing ad­min­is­tra­tor for his back cat­a­logue.

Mu­si­cal films have been some of Univer­sal Pic­tures’ big­gest earn­ers in re­cent years, as in ad­di­tion to the Mamma Mia movies, their box of­fice hits have in­cluded Les Mis­er­ables and Pitch Per­fect.

Stu­dio bosses look to be stick­ing to a win­ning for­mula as they also have Last Christ­mas, a planned fes­tive rom-com fea­tur­ing the mu­sic of Ge­orge Michael, and an adap­ta­tion of An­drew Lloyd Webber’s Cats due out next year.

Prince fans were left dis­traught by his death, at the age of 57 from an over­dose of opioid painkillers, but will be treated to new mu­sic in years to come as tracks from his famed vault of un­re­leased ma­te­rial are set to be re­leased. A Wrin­kle in Time film­maker Ava DuVer­nay is also in the process of mak­ing a doc­u­men­tary film on the star’s life and ca­reer for stream­ing ser­vice Net­flix.

Late pop su­per­star Prince’s mu­sic is to fea­ture in a new movie mu­si­cal in the style of Abba’s Mamma Mia. AP FILES

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