Prince-Inspired Movie Featuring His Music in the Works at Universal

Instead of a biopic, the film will use the Purple One’s music to drive a fictional narrative

Universal Pictures on Monday said that the studio is working on a film based on the music of Prince.

The studio said that it has acquired the rights to a number of songs from Prince’s catalog and is developing an original movie musical inspired by his music.

The film isn’t a Prince biopic, but will instead use the artist’s music to drive a fictional narrative, a la “Mamma Mia!” or “Across the Universe.”

Prince, who died April 21, 2016, is also the subject of a multi-part documentary for Netflix. The documentary series, directed by Ava DuVernay, will cover the late pop star’s entire life and is being made with the full cooperation of his estate, which will provide archival footage and photos and interviews.

Prince left an indelible mark on music and culture. He sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He won eight Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award for the 1984 film “Purple Rain.” In 2004, Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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.

Mike Knobloch, president of global film music and publishing for Universal Pictures, is playing a key role in the project for the studio. Sara Scott, Universal’s vice president of production, and creative executive Mika Pryce will oversee development on behalf of the studio.

Universal Pictures has found success in musically-inspired films including franchises such as “Mamma Mia!” and “Pitch Perfect,” as well as film adaptations of musicals such as “Les Miserables.”  The studio also has “Last Christmas,” which features the music of George Michael, and the highly anticipated film adaptation of “Cats,” on next year’s slate.

Variety was first to report the news.