Pharrell Williams is using Legos to tell his own story, with an eye toward inspiring others to their creative heights with animated biopic “Piece by Piece” via the Lego Group and Focus Features.
The “Happy” singer and producer has teamed with Oscar-winning “20 Feet From Stardom” documentarian Morgan Neville for the unconventional project due in theaters Oct. 11..
Williams, whose career spans hip-hop and R&B, films and fashion, was “uninterested in making a traditional film about his life,” Focus Features said in a statement. So the 13-time Grammy winner aimed to tell his story “in a way that would set audience’s imaginations free.”
“Who would’ve thought that playing with Legos as a kid would evolve into a movie about my life,” Williams posted on Instagram upon the project’s announcement. “It’s proof that anyone else can do it, too.”
Neville and Caitrin Rogers of Tremolo Productions produced the film along with Williams, Mimi Valdés and Shani Saxon of Williams’ I Am Other label.
Neville said Williams approached him with the idea five years ago. “It was one of those rare moments where I knew in a second that this was a journey I wanted to go on,” the director said in a statement, calling the effort “our crazy mission.”
“We assembled an incredible team of creative collaborators to help make a new type of film,” he added. “I can’t wait for people to see it.”
“When I had this crazy vision to tell this story through Lego bricks, I couldn’t have imagined a better partner than Morgan. He is a legend,” Williams said.
“Pharrell Williams is a true trailblazer whose influence across music, art and fashion continually reshapes global culture with an undeniable sense of joy,” Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski said in a statement. “In partnering with the inimitable Morgan Neville and the limitless creativity of the Lego brand, his visionary spirit comes to life in a wholly unique and uplifting way that will inspire everyone to dance, to sing, and to use their voice to build the world they want to see, brick by brick, and piece by piece.”
Jill Wilfert and Keith Malone are executive producing for the Lego Group.
Williams in 2017 also signed on to work on a Fox musical inspired by his childhood helmed by Broadway director Michael Mayerand featuring Missy Elliot. Production on the project, dubbed “Atlantis,” appears to have been stalled by the Hollywood strikes last year.
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