It was much earlier this year when it was announced that there was renewed interest in exploiting the Soul Train franchise – thanks to Don Cornelius’ death.
The news then was that Soul Train Holdings was working with WME to find ways to, as I said, exploit and grow the brand, which would include a film, a stage musical AND a TV show.
“Certainly we want to proceed in a way that will highlight the contribution of Don to the creation of the brand and its subsequent impact on American culture,” said Kenard Gibbs, CEO of Soul Train Holdings.
However, there were some rights issues that they’d have to deal with, notably the music used in each episode of the series. But they were confident that wouldn’t be a problem.
Things seem to be in motion again as it’s been announced today that Earvin “Magic” Johnson and his business partners have bought the rights to the Soul Train franchise for “several million dollars,” and are planning an upcoming musical based on the life of Don Cornelius, according to the NY Post.
The musical, which is being aimed towards Broadway, will focus on the once mega-hit variety show.
That’s all the info available at this time.
You’ll recall that there’s also a Broadway production based on the life of Berry Gordy in the works, aimied for a spring 2013 bow.
That, and with all that Kenny Leon and Bill T. Jones have planned (a Tupac-inspired musical, and a Super Fly musical), and more that I’m probably forgetting right now, or that have yet to be announced (not sure if any of Katori Hall’s new works might be potential pickups), 2013 should be another banner year for *black shows* on Broadway, for better and for worse.
Love, peace and soul indeed…