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A pop star, philanthropist, and now accomplished movie musician, Pharrell Williams is quickly becoming the stuff that Hollywood legends are made of. And with La La Land bringing musicals back to the forefront of show business, the idea of setting his life to music is as tempting of a prospect as any. Which is how Fox has come to acquire the rights to a project that is inspired by Williams’ childhood home of Virginia Beach: a movie musical that also takes inspiration from another storied source, Shakespeare.
The Hollywood Reporter recently announced the project, entitled Atlantis, as a Romeo and Juliet-inspired musical that takes a page from the Academy Award-nominated songwriter and the Bard himself. Partnered with Williams is producer Gil Netter, who helped Pharrell sell the project, as well as Tony-winning director Michael Mayer and writer Martin Hynes, who will work in their respective fields as part of the Atlantis team. With the talented forces behind the project, there’s a lot of opportunities for this fresh project to become the next La La Land caliber hit in the history of musicals.
It’s to be assumed that Pharrell Williams will be complimenting his producing duties with yet another songwriting credit, as Atlantis is obviously going to need songs. In fact, one could hope that his budding friendship with famed composer Hans Zimmer will see the two reunite yet again to work on the music and score for this brand new project. Should this happen, it’ll all but confirm another feeling we’re starting to experience when thinking about Atlantis. Specifically that this film will be nothing short of a hot awards season prospect.
While La La Land was certainly an enjoyable romp through the musical realm, it has been accused as being a somewhat racist product. Naturally, as the Academy likes to put forth an aura of progressive and diverse options, this would make them more primed to vote for Atlantis as a potential nominee, and even a potential winner. Of course, this isn’t the primary reason that the film could be seen as a prestige competitor, as Pharrell Williams’ previous nomination status makes for a built-in shoo-in. Also, while fans of La La Land might be upset the musical failed to secure the Best Picture trophy, the infamous awards body could see Atlantis as a chance to make it up to the younger folks who may be more inclined to follow the Academy.
For now though, it’s the early days for Atlantis, which is currently under development at Fox and has no release or production schedules in mind for the project as of yet. But we’ll definitely be on the lookout for any further indicators as to what type of movie it will shape up to be. In the meantime, you can hear Pharrell’s latest collaboration with Fox, as Hidden Figures will be available on Digital HD tomorrow.