Will “the next great musical” to hit movie theaters be a jukebox film that tells a fictional story inspired by songs like “Raspberry Beret” and, dare we imagine, “Darling Nikki”? It couldn’t be worse than Fifty Shades of Grey.
Variety reports that Universal Pictures is developing a movie featuring Prince’s music — but not a biopic, a story “inspired by his music, using the songs to drive a fictional narrative.” As the trade publication notes, musical movies are hot right now with titles like Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star is Born, and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again blowing up the box office, but reportedly the studio thought “the biopic angle had largely been covered by Prince’s 1984 star-making film Purple Rain.”
That movie, of course, was only very loosely inspired by Prince’s real life, but of course no one could ever play “the Kid” as well as Prince himself. According to Variety, Prince estate advisor Troy Carter is signed on to co-produce along with a the chair of Universal Music Publishing Group, which currently administers publishing for most of Prince’s catalog and within a few years will have it all.
Will the Prince musical be a smash, or a disaster? Fans will be watching to see how Universal does with another upcoming film inspired by ’80s music: Last Christmas, based on the iconic Wham! song, will hit theaters about a year from now.