For those music fans that loved Mamma Mia on account of the way the movie used ABBA’s music to bring a story to life, it seems like Prince’s music may be getting the same treatment after Universal secured the rights to some songs included in Prince’s music catalog.
According to Deadline, Universal has secured the rights to some of Prince’s classic songs “which will be the backdrop to a narrative feature.” Universal has also confirmed that this endeavor will not be a biopic on Prince, hence why fans of Mamma Mia are now suddenly excited.
Variety, who broke the news first, has explained that it will be “an original story with Prince’s classic songs driving the plotline.”
The estate of Prince had been making queries in regards to this film and Universal’s chairman, Donna Langley, was actively pursuing the rights to it in an effort to secure the rights to what is likely to be a huge hit.
Currently, meetings are underway regarding potential writers, producers, and executives for the upcoming endeavor. Variety does believe that they are looking for a story that is similar to the Mamma Mia concept where the music from Prince will help to “drive that narrative” of a completely original script.
And, for those who are fans of Prince’s 1984 movie, Purple Rain, Universal’s endeavor will not be following this storyline in the upcoming musical. The reason for this is because they felt that the biopic angle has already been covered extensively in that classic movie. Instead, they are planning something original and “outside the box.”
Universal Pictures has picked up the rights to a number of classic songs from Prince’s catalog and is developing an original film musical inspired by his prolific musical output, but don't expect the fictional narrative to be a Prince biopic https://t.co/UMaOPvZmtu
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) December 3, 2018
Atom Factory’s Troy Carter, who is the entertainment advisor of Prince’s estate is already joined to the project as executive producer. Joining him will be Jody Gerson, who is the chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group. The president of Global Film Music and Publishing for Universal Pictures, Mike Knobloch, has also signed up for a key role. In addition, Universal’s vice president of production, Sara Scott, and creative executive, Mika Pryce, will “oversee development on behalf of the studio.”
In addition to the upcoming Prince musical, Universal also has Last Christmas in development, which will use the music of George Michael. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Last Christmas is a comedy starring Emilia Clarke, Michelle Yeoh, and Henry Golding. This production is slated for release on November 15, 2019.
As yet, there is no news regarding the release date for the new Prince musical.