Marshall director Reginald Hudlin has signed on to direct Beyond the Velvet Rope, a musical film that will be based on the original music of Andreas Carlsson. The prolific Swedish songwriter has penned hits for the likes of Celine Dion, Katy Perry, Britney Spears NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and American Idol stars including Carrie Underwood and Clay Aiken.
The original script for Velvet Rope was penned by Oscar-winning Rain Man writer Ron Bass and Walter Becker & G.L. Lambert. It centers on an up-and-coming pop named Sky who falls in love with her prolific songwriter Luke as they make their way through the Los Angeles music scene in the late 1970s. They make a fairy-tale ascent to the top, but Luke begins to drift from his first love (music) and finds the fine line between success and failure, and the realization that life can turn on a single song.
Carlsson, an ASCAP Songwriter of the Year whose songs have sold more than 150 million units, has written 14 new songs for the pic, which he is also producing alongside Marcus Englefield and George Lee for Storyoscopic Films. Executive producers are Niklas Bergman, Hudlin, Robyn Klein, Andrew Lerios and Jeremy Ross.
“The ability to work closely with a film rooted in music has been on my bucket list and is a genre that started my career,” said Hudlin, a prolific TV director who was Oscar nominated for producing Django Unchained in 2017. “The opportunity to blend a well written story with exceptional original songs is a special moment as a director and music lover. The raw reality of ascending and descending and then finding success as an artist of any kind in Hollywood is filled with the kind of emotion that organically allows for great storytelling.”
Added Carlsson: “The music for this film is inspired by the core of my upbringing. As a Swede, I was enamored with American pop culture and the music of the late 70s along with the films from the era. I am looking forward to working with Reggie who has fully grasped the musical vision of the film. Along with my musical collaborators Kalle Engstrom and Jörgen Elofsson, we are ready to create an important film that will focus on a significant part of America’s musical timeline.”
Hudlin, who also produced the Oscars in 217, is repped by CAA. The pic deal was negotiated by Weintraub Tobin, Qap Legal and Fox Rothschild.