Over the years, we’ve seen many biopics that inspire us and tell us life-changing stories of people. We learn about their personal and professional lives, their struggles, and their achievements. These biopics have also found much success and bagged many awards. Some of these include music biopics like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ which won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture and Rami Malek won the Oscar for Best Actor for playing Freddie Mercury in the film. Recent popular music biopics include Baz Luhrmann’s ‘ELVIS’, and ‘Rocketman’, which follows the life of the singer Elton John, helmed by Dexter Fletcher.
From ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ to ‘Back To Black’, we look at ten upcoming music biopics you need to watch –
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
Having first premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, ‘Wierd: The Al Yankovic Story’ is set to launch on The Roku Channel this November. ‘Harry Potter’ star Daniel Radcliffe was recruited to play “Weird Al” Yankovic in this satirical biopic helmed by Eric Appel (‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, ‘New Girl’). The Grammy-award-winning Yankovic rose to fame with his parody pop songs and chose Radcliffe himself to play him in the movie.
Alfred Matthew Yankovic, better known as “Weird Al,” wrote and produced the film alongside Appel. The film also stars Evan Rachel Wood (‘Westworld’) as Madonna, Emmy award winner Quinta Brunson (‘Abbott Elementary’) as Oprah Winfrey, Jack Black (‘School of Rock’, ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’) as Wolfman Jack, Rainn Wilson (‘The Office’) as Dr. Demento, Julianne Nicholson (‘Mare of Easttown’) as Mary Yankovic, Toby Huss (‘Dickinson’) as Nick Yankovic, James Preston Rogers as Hulk Hogan, and Spencer Treat Clark (‘Gladiator’) as Steve Jay, among others.
Last year, Cher took to Twitter to announce that a biopic about her life was in the works at Universal Pictures. She has sold over 100 records in her career and has even won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for starring in the 1988 film ‘Moonstruck’. Eric Roth (‘Dune’, ‘A Star Is Born’), a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award winner for ‘Forrest Gump’, is writing the screenplay for the biopic.
He has six Oscar nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay under his belt. Gary Goetzman, co-founder of the production company Playtone, and Judy Craymer, who produced ‘Mamma Mia!’ and ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’, will be producing the untitled biopic with Cher.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody
This biopic follows the life of one of the greatest vocalists of our generation, Whitney Houston, who also became one of the best-selling artists of all time. Some of her hits include ‘I Will Always Love You’, ‘Higher Love’, and ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’, which was chosen as the title for Whitney’s upcoming biopic. She also starred in the 1992 film ‘The Bodyguard’ and took on the role of the Fairy Godmother in ‘Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella’. Whitney has production credits on the Disney movies ‘The Princess Diaries’ and ‘The Cheetah Girls’.
The film stars Naomie Ackie (‘The End of the F***ing World’) as Whitney Houston, Stanley Tucci (‘The Devil Wears Prada’) as Clive Davis, Ashton Sanders (‘Moonlight’), Nefessa Williams (‘Black Lightning’) as Robyn Crawford, Bria Danielle Singleton as Bobbi Kristina, Tamara Tunie (‘The Devil’s Advocate’) as Cissy Houston, and Clarke Peters (‘The Wire’), among others. ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ is helmed by Kasi Lemmons (‘Harriet’, ‘Eve’s Bayou’). The script for the film has been penned by the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ screenwriter, Anthony McCarten. This film comes to theaters on December 21, 2022.
Elvis and Priscilla Presley
Sofia Coppola, the winner of the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award for the 2003 film ‘Lost in Translation’, is writing and will direct a forthcoming biopic about Elvis and Priscilla Presley based on Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir ‘Elvis and Me’. Unlike Baz Luhrmann’s 2022 film ‘ELVIS’, Coppola’s upcoming film will focus on Priscilla and her relationship with Elvis. Having created an account on Instagram this month, Coppola shared her first post – a photo of the New York Times Bestseller ‘Elvis and Me’ with the caption: “Back to work! Excited to be telling Priscilla’s story.”
Jacob Elordi (‘Euphoria’) and Cailee Spaeny are set to star as Elvis and Priscilla Presley, respectively. The release date for the film is yet to be announced.
An upcoming biopic following the life and career of Bob Marley will star Kingsley Ben-Adir (‘One Night in Miami’) as the singer, considered one of the pioneers of reggae. Reinaldo Marcus Green (‘King Richard’, ‘Monsters and Men’) will helm the untitled biopic. According to Deadline, the film will be released on January 12, 2024. Robert Teitel will have a production script and Bob Marley’s family members – Ziggy Marley, Rita Marley, and Cedella Marley – will also produce on behalf of Tuff Gong.
“Our film starts in ’76 and really it’s about the making of Exodus. So that’s primarily the window that we’re going to focus on, with obviously, some flashes to his early life,” director Reinaldo Marcus Green said to Collider.
Superstar Madonna is helming a biopic about herself. She is co-writing it with Erin Cressida Wilson (‘Chloe’, ‘The Girl on the Train’) and Diablo Cody (‘Jennifer’s Body’, ‘Juno’), who has completed her work on the biopic. There were rumors that many actors had auditioned to play Madonna in the film, including ‘Euphoria’ stars Sydney Sweeney, Barbie Ferreira, and Alexa Demie. Florence Pugh (‘Midsommar’, ‘Don’t Worry Darling’) was also among those looking to tell Madonna’s story on the big screen by playing the ‘Material Girl’ singer in the film.
All these actors had to be involved in choreography and singing auditions to bag Madonna’s role. Madonna also attended some of these auditions. The title and release date of the biopic is yet to be announced by Universal Pictures but the ‘Inventing Anna’ star Julia Garner, who also played Ruth Langmore in ‘Ozark’, has reportedly been offered the role of Madonna, Variety reports. Garner has three Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series Emmy awards under her belt.
Tyrese Gibson (‘2 Fast 2 Furious’) is producing and starring as Teddy Pendergrass in a biopic about the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter with Warner Bros. Lee Daniels (‘Empire’), Donald De Line, and Teddy Pendergrass’ widow Joan Pendergrass are executive producers. Little Marvin (‘Them’) is penning the screenplay for Teddy’s forthcoming biopic.
“I am honored to take this journey… this is the role that I feel I was born to play,” Gibson said as per Variety. “Teddy Pendergrass embraced me and before he passed put the responsibility on my shoulders to tell his story.”
“Being here in this time and in this space and moment with Lee Daniels, Donald De Line, Little Marvin, and Warner Bros. is an answered prayer. Teddy, I just hope we make you, your wife, and family proud… Here we go!!” he added.
A biopic produced by Studiocanal about the English ‘Rehab’ singer Amy Winehouse is in the works. Sam Taylor-Johnson (‘Nowhere Boy’, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’) is set to direct the film. They hope to offer the role of Winehouse to a newcomer rather than a pop star.
The biopic titled ‘Back to Black’ is written by Matt Greenhalgh (‘Nowhere Boy’). Debra Hayward (‘Bridget Jone’s Baby’) and Tracey Seaward (‘Philomena’) are also producing Amy Winehouse’s forthcoming biopic. Although details about the film are yet to be known, sources have revealed to Variety that the ‘Industry’ star Marisa Abela is in discussions to play the role of the ‘Back to Black’ hitmaker, but it hasn’t been confirmed yet.
A Billy Joel biopic following the ‘Uptown Girl’ singer’s early life since being discovered by Irwin Mazur to capturing the attention of music executive and producer Clive Davis is in the works. The project has been greenlit by Michael Jai White’s Jaigantic Studios. A rep for the singer told Rolling Stones, “Billy Joel is not involved with this film project.”
According to Variety, “no rights in music, name/likeness or life story will be granted” as per a rep for the Grammy-award-winning star. The music for Billy Joel’s forthcoming biopic ‘Piano Man’ is “yet to be determined.”
Adam Ripp will be writing and directing the film. “What a dream come true! These are the real-life events I witnessed first-hand that shaped Billy from a keyboard player in the local Long Island band, The Hassles, into the iconic musician, singer-songwriter, and entertainer who thrills audiences around the world,” Irwin Mazur said, according to Variety.
John Carrey is helming the forthcoming Bee Gees biopic for Paramount Pictures. John Logan (‘They/Them’, ‘Aviator’) is penning the script, while Barry Gibb will be the executive producer of the film. Bee Gees, formed in 1958 consisting of Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb, have sold over 220 million records worldwide. The ‘Stayin’ Alive’ hitmakers have won five Grammy awards and are one of the best-selling groups in the world. The untitled Bee Gees biopic will be produced by SISTER, GK Films (‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘World War Z’), and Amblin Entertainment.