Prince‘s music will help drive the narrative in an upcoming fictional film, similar to how the music of ABBA inspired the stage musical-turned-film, Mamma Mia. According to Variety, Universal Pictures acquired a number of songs from Prince’s catalog and is developing an original film inspired by the material. However, “insiders” stress that the film is not a biopic about Prince (which was loosely attempted in his 1984 film Purple Rain). Instead, his songs will help drive the narrative of a new original story.

“Though the film isn’t a biopic,” Variety points out, “studios around town have been on the look for the next great musical after the success of Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody“, which brought in $50 million on its opening weekend in North America, plus an additional $72 million internationally.

The Prince estate has been shopping the idea of using Prince’s catalog in a film musical to various studios, and was met with agreement by Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley, who worked intensively to acquire the rights to the songs. Beyond that, Universal Pictures has only just begun having meetings with potential writers, producers, and executives about the storyline itself.

According to Variety,

Atom Factory’s Troy Carter, the entertainment advisor of Prince’s estate will executive produce alongside Jody Gerson, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, the exclusive worldwide publishing administrator for Prince’s catalog. …

President of Global Film Music and Publishing for Universal Pictures Mike Knobloch is playing a key role in the project for the studio. Universal’s Vice President of Production Sara Scott and Creative Executive Mika Pryce will oversee development on behalf of the studio.

With Prince’s estate in the driving seat, we’re hopeful that this film is something to look forward to.