Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Exclusive: Universal Fast Tracking Movie with Prince’s Songs Now That Beatles Movie “Yesterday” is A Hit, “Rocketman” Still Soaring


First it was “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Then came “Rocketman.”

This past weekend, the Universal movie “Yesterday” posted $17 million at the box office with 17 Beatles songs included.

Now I’m told Universal Pictures is fast tracking a movie featuring Prince’s music catalog. I’m told that Universal chief DOnna Langley is “obsessed” with this project.

It was announced last December that Universal had secured the rights to Prince’s songs not necessarily for a biopic but as “signposts” in a narrative story. Maybe one in which no one remembers Prince but a kid from Minneapolis starts playing them after an electrical storm.

Since “Purple Rain” is already taken for the famous Prince movie, and “Little Red Corvette” is overused, my proposal is a movie called “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Or even one titled “Raspberry Beret.”

But that December story has now made Universal execs eager to get the movie going as soon as they find the right project.

So who’s next? David Bowie probably. And the Rolling Stones. My guess is Mick Jagger’s Jagged Films is trying to figure out a way to get their own movie going with the Stones catalog. Meantime, “Girl from the North Country,” a Bob Dylan musical from off Broadway, is heading uptown next year, and certainly to a movie adaptation.

All of this I guess leads back to the two “Mamma Mia” movies that used ABBA songs. And then there will be a movie adaptation of Carole King’s “Beautiful” Broadway musical, using all of her songs.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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