John Legend’s Get Lifted Film Co and Furst Films are partnering up with IM Global to produce an untitled musical romantic drama with recording artist, singer, songwriter and producer Miguel in talks to star.
Video and commercials director Nabil Elderkin will make his feature directorial debut with the project, from a screenplay penned by Taylor Cohen, which tells the tale of a one-hit wonder rediscovering his passion for music, while coaching a talent show contestant.
Principal photography is scheduled to kick off in September in Philadelphia, with Legend set to produce alongside his Get Lifted Film Co partner Mike Jackson and Furst Film principals Sean and Bryan Furst.
IM Global’s Stuart Ford and president of production Matt Jackson serve as executive producers with Glendon Palmer and Get Lifted partner Ty Stiklorius.
“Mike, Ty and I are really excited about producing our longtime friend and collaborator Nabil Elderkin’s directorial debut,” said Legend in a press statement, adding, “He’s a major talent and being able to cast Miguel in the male lead puts us in the position to really build an incredible film with strong musical elements. We look forward to working with this dream team we’ve assembled to deliver something special.”
“Stuart and his team acted decisively and their support has set us all on a course to make something unique and inspiring,” said the Furst brothers. “We’re excited for the opportunity to collaborate with this incredible collection of artists.”
Since inking an exclusive deal, 2 summers ago, with Universal Cable Productions, to develop TV series for cable and broadcast networks, John Legend and his Get Lifted Film Company have certainly been busy. Although none of his announced projects has made it to air yet.
His first project was sold to Fox in October 2012 – a comedy which was to center on a guy in his early 20s who becomes the guardian to his own siblings, while having to manage his fledgling career as well as a social life. It was said to be loosely based on John Legend’s years growing up.
And then, early in 2013, Legend sold a second project, a crime drama, to the USA network. Titled “The Edge,” it was described as a crime drama about “an idealistic Harvard Business School graduate named Jeff Cross who joins a progressive financial firm called Edgeton Global (aka The Edge), where he discovers the company’s dark secrets while becoming entangled in a high-stakes FBI investigation.”
And then in April 2013, it was announced that Legend (and producer/director Tony Krantz) sold a drama to HBO titled “Down Lo,” which was to be set in South Beach, Miami, and was described as an edgy ensemble drama with intersecting stories, one of which would follow a gay rapper living on the “down low.”
And also in in the summer of 2013, it was announced that Legend and his company had teamed up with the Showtime network for a half-hour comedy about music managers – something that Legend himself knows a little something about likely. The untitled project was to take place in the world of high-profile music managers, and was to be penned by Austin Winsberg (“Gossip Girl,” “Jake in Progress”) who was also to executive produce alongside Legend and his Get Lifted Film company.
And finally, there was also a coming-of-age dance drama titled “Breaking Through” – a feature film, by the way, not a TV series – that Legend and John Swetnam (writer of the dance movie “Step Up”) were teaming up to produce. This was announced last year.
The project was to combine the overdone found-footage sub-genre (where horror movies and thrillers typically go to die these days) with another tired sub-genre, the dance movie, to create a found-footage dance movie. I think this might be a first!
No exact details on plot yet, except a description that called it a “documentary-style dance drama for the YouTube generation.”
The status of all the above projects isn’t public, so we wait, as Legend continues to add to a growing slate, continuing to expand his brand, as part of a concerted effort to grow his empire beyond music, calling it the “next step forward in building Get Lifted.”