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.
Swetnam, who penned last year’s Evidence and the upcoming Warner Bros thriller Into The Storm, will make his feature directorial debut with the picture, which he’s also writing and producing for his Mad Horse Films label. Legend’s Get Lifted Films shingle also is backing the project, with Get Lifted partner Mike Jackson producing alongside Uri Singer of BB Films, Luis Fragali of Perimeter Group, and Fabio Golombek of FJ Productions. Legend will exec produce with Get Lifted’s Ty Stiklorius and Alexandru Celea is overseeing for Mad Horse. Paradigm reps Swetnam, arranged financing and is handling sales on the film. Legend is repped by WME.