Prince Music-Inspired Movie in the Works at Universal

Getty Images
Prince

But don't expect a biopic like 'Purple Rain' after the studio acquired a catalog of Prince songs for the original fictional narrative project.

Universal Pictures has picked up the rights to a number of classic songs from the late artist Prince’s catalog and is developing an original film musical inspired by his prolific output.

But don't expect the fictional narrative to be a Prince biopic like the 1984 film Purple Rain, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Instead, like the ABBA music that inspired the Mamma Mia! movie franchise, Universal is looking to develop an original film that uses Prince songs as signposts.

Mike Knobloch, president of global film music and publishing for Universal Pictures, will shepherd the untitled project for the studio, with Universal vp production Sara Scott and creative executive Mika Pryce overseeing the film's development.

Atom Factory’s Troy Carter, the entertainment advisor of Prince’s estate, will executive produce, alongside Jody Gerson, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, the exclusive worldwide publishing administrator for Prince’s catalog.

The project follows the the 2016 death of the multi-instrumentalist and virtuosic performer. Prince sold more than 100 million records worldwide, helping him to earn eight Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award for Purple Rain.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. Besides Mamma Mia!, Universal also found success with earlier musically inspired films like Pitch Perfect and adaptations of musicals such as Les Miserables.

The studio has Last Christmas, which features the music of George Michael, and the highly anticipated film adaptation of Cats on next year’s slate.