Rock Star: Pharrell’s Childhood Story To Be Adapted Into Major Film Musical
Long before he donned some pretty memorable accessories, Pharrell Williams wore many hats. Fifteen years ago, emerging from hit-production duo The Neptunes, the Virginia Beach native built a full-on Rock force with N*E*R*D, he established his Star Trak label (which was hard at work with The Clipse, Fam-Lay, and Roscoe P. Coldchain), and a fledgling solo career.
The career juggling is even more the case in 2017. Pharrell still has all of those previous entities, but he’s since added television (two seasons on The Voice), another label (i am OTHER), a host of fashion ventures, a podcast, and a film division. That is, of course, understating Skateboard P’s ramped up soundtrack and solo work, in addition to a ton of production.
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that FOX has picked up a musical based on Williams’ childhood. The project, called Atlantis, which was pitched by P and his i am OTHER production company, is scheduled to be directed by Broadway veteran Michael Mayer. In addition to being at the soundtrack helm, Pharrell produced Hidden Figures, a 2016 FOX feature that garnered Oscar-winning accolades. Pharrell also produced Roxanne, Roxanne, a biopic on the life and career of MC Roxanne Shanté. That film, which includes roles by Oscar winner Mahershala Ali and Nia Long. Recently, that project was subject of a multi-million dollar bidding war, before ending up at Neon.
At present it is unclear what years in Pharrell’s life Atlantis will span. Born in 1973 in Virginia Beach, Pharrell met Neptunes/N*E*R*D partner Chad Hugo during seventh grade summer band camp. During their teens, the band (both orchestra and marching band) members would attract the interest of Teddy Riley. The member of Guy and Wreckx-N-Effect would sign Pharrell (who was 18), and commission him co-write and co-produce 1992 #2 hit “Rump Shaker.”
Within a year of that, Pharrell would appear on a Riley remix of SWV’s “Right Here” rapping, and meet one of his earliest pupils, The Clipse.
In 2016, outside of Hidden Figures soundtrack, P produced for Frank Ocean, Kid Cudi, and Alicia Keys, among others.