In the wake of films like Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, Disney is developing a movie musical set to the sweet, sweet songs of Lionel Richie, who currently serves as a judge on the Disney-owned series American Idol.
Variety broke the news, and the trade reports that the live-action project is tentatively titled All Night Long. Apparently, Richie sold the pitch to the studio back in January, and it’s being developed with a theatrical release in mind.
Crazy Rich Asians scribe Pete Chiarelli is currently writing the script, and Richie will produce with his manager, Bruce Eskowitz, as well as Dana Brunetti and Matt Del Piano of Cavalry Media.
I know I mentioned Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman above, but those were, of course, music biopics about Freddie Mercury and Elton John. All Night Long isn’t about Lionel Richie, but uses his music in the same way that the Mamma Mia! movies are based on the music of ABBA. Disney seems to have picked up on the idea that audiences may be looking for lighthearted stories they can sing along to when they do, ultimately, return to theaters.
Richie is an Oscar winner and four-time Grammy winner who has sold over 100 million records worldwide. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Song as well as the Golden Globe for “Say You, Say Me” from the 1985 drama White Nights. Meanwhile, his Grammy wins include 1985’s Song of the Year for “We Are the World,” which he co-wrote with Michael Jackson. That charity single sold over 20 million copies alone. In 2016, Richie received the highest honor given by the Songwriters Hall of Fame thanks to the chart-topping success of songs ranging from “Truly” and “Three Times a Lady” to the Caribbean-flavored dance number “All Night Long” from the which film project takes its title.
For a list of the weirdest movie musicals ever made, click here.