EXCLUSIVE: R&B singer John Legend and Step Up: All In scribe John Swetnam are teaming on coming-of-age dance drama Breaking Through, which has locked independent financing and is gearing up for a summer shoot. It’ll be the first feature of its kind to combine two subgenres — dance movies and found footage — in a plot described as a “documentary-style dance drama for the YouTube generation.” Casting starts soon on the pic, which is looking to discover new dance talent a la the Step Up films.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA —John Legend, nine-time Grammy® Award-winning singer-songwriter, will take the stage on Oscar Sunday, March 2, at the Academy’s official post-Oscars celebration, the Governors Ball.Legend’s critically acclaimed 2004 debut album, “Get Lifted,” garnered eight Grammy nominations and earned him a win for best R&B album. That year he also won best new artist of the year and best male R&B vocal performance for the hit single “Ordinary People.” His fourth solo album, “Love in the Future,” is nominated for best R&B album at the upcoming Grammy Awards. Legend’s songs have been included in the soundtracks of such films as “Waiting for Superman,” “Think Like a Man” and “Django Unchained.”
EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, HBO has bought for development Down Lo, a drama project from singer-songwriter John Legend and producer-director Tony Krantz. Set in Miami’s South Beach, the edgy ensemble drama explores the intersection of three worlds — the party town’s popular music scene and sports and fashion circles. It deals with fame and secrets, with the stories told from multiple points of view. One of them will be that of a gay rapper living on the down low as homosexuality is still not readily accepted in the hip-hop community. (In an interview just this week, Snoop Dogg said he doubts that homosexuality will ever be accepted in the “masculine” rap world.) Down Lo also features top models as well as athletes with their penchant for big money, fast cars and beautiful women. Down Lo, which is expected to draw on Legend’s first-hand knowledge and great access to the music world, hails from Krantz’s Flame Ventures and Legend’s Get Lifted Film Co. It is being written by playwright/scribe Seth Zvi Rosenfeld, who is executive producing with Krantz and Get Lifted’s Legend, Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius. Flame’s Reece Pearson serves as co-executive producer.
EXCLUSIVE: Universal Cable Productions has signed singer-songwriter John Legend and his Get Lifted Film Company to an exclusive pod deal to develop series for cable and broadcast networks. Under the pact, the nine-time Grammy winner and his partners Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius will work closely with UCP’s development team – SVPs Richard Rothstein, Chris Sanagustin and Maira Suro – who oversee the studio’s development for USA Network, Syfy and external networks, respectively.
The deal marks Legend’s first formal foray into the television series business. He called it “next step forward in building Get Lifted.” UCP has been very selective with its pod deals. Get Lifted joins a handful of other companies that have deals with the studio, including Hypnotic, which produces UCP’s USA dramas Covert Affairs and Suits and recently produced the studio’s critically acclaimed MTV comedy I Just Want My Pants Back for MTV; Tagline, which produces the long-running USA/UCP dramedy Psych, and recent roster addition, Gale Anne Hurd’s company Valhalla Entertainment (The Walking Dead).
John Legend has joined the quartet of star mentors on ABC’s upcoming music reality series Duets. He replaces Lionel Richie, who was originally tapped for the gig but has pulled out citing scheduling conflicts. Duets will feature …
EXCLUSIVE: John Legend is behind a music special, which is in series consideration at Showtime. The nine-time Grammy Award winner hosts and executive produces the project, which had a private taping recently at the historic EastWest Studios in Los Angeles. The untitled show features top artists from different genres who …