IM Global TV is teaming with Johnny Depp and Richard Branson to develop a limited music drama series based on Rick Hall’s autobiography The Man From Muscle Shoals: My Journey from Shame to Fame. It’s one of five new series projects put in development by Reliance Entertainment’s TV studio — a division of feature-film financing, production and sales company IM Global — along with I, Rebel; LD50 and adaptations of the book The Lesser Dead and graphic novel Planetoid.
Muscle Shoals hails from Depp and Christie Dembrowski’s Infinitum Nihil, Branson’s Virgin Produced, and Joshua D. Maurer and Alixandre Witlin’s City Entertainment. It’s inspired by the true-life roller-coaster story of legendary record producer, songwriter, publisher and musician Hall, founder of the modern day “Muscle Shoals Sound,” and his Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Under Hall’s vision and inspiration, Muscle Shoals became the epicenter for recording some of the most iconic songs in history with artists such as Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Etta James, Percy Sledge, Otis Redding, Clarence Carter, and Arthur Alexander.
“Muscle Shoals is an extraordinary story in which, through adversity, some of the world’s most amazing music was created. It is perfectly suited for Infinitum as it combine’s Johnny’s love of music and its history and our company’s creative mission to tell these stories,” said Christi Dembrowski, President of Infinitum Nihil.
Added IM Global TV president Mark Stern,” Rick Hall and his small Alabama recording studio fundamentally transformed the music industry. His personal and professional journey and the incredible talent he worked with is a compelling story that will make a great television series.”
IM Global Television plans to partner with sister company IM Global Music to make the songs themselves a focal point of the series.
“Muscle Shoals is the spiritual breeding ground for some of the most iconic songs recorded in American history,” said IM Global Music President David Schulhof. “The songs recorded at FAME Studios would later be embraced and recorded by artists around the world for generations to come.”
Launched in 2014, IM Global TV recently landed a pilot order at TNT for Time of Death, earmarked for M. Night Shyamalan’s horror block Tales from the Crypt. The company also has Cat’s Cradle series adaptation set up at FX with Noah Hawley, and Darkover at Amazon. These projects are being joined by four new dramas IM Global TV has put in development: I, Rebel, a sci-fi series from Dana Siavash Farahani, about an astronaut who crash lands on Earth after being lost in space for eight years; The Lesser Dead, based on Christopher Buehlman’s novel; action-adventure series Planetoid, an adaptation of Ken Garing’s graphic novel, about an ex-soldier-turned-space-mercenary who finds himself stranded on a mysterious planet in alien territory; and dystopian character-drama LD50, from Scott Dacko. Here are details:
Pilot Script I, REBEL by Dana and Siavash Farahani is a sweeping character-driven sci-fi series, in which an astronaut — lost in space for eight years — crash lands on Earth to find the world colonized and enslaved by a humanoid alien race. His rise from slave to rebel leader will spark a revolution. Jane Fleming (The Frozen Ground) and Mark Ordesky (The Lord of The Rings franchise) are onboard as executive producers.
Based on the novel by Christopher Buehlman, THE LESSER DEAD is a brutal, irreverent new take on the vampire myth. Characters that might feel at home in “Catcher in the Rye” or “Saturday Night Fever” find themselves in a macabre reality that recalls “Let the Right One In.” At once black comedy, horror story and time capsule, THE LESSER DEAD will embed you with a colony of vampires in 1978 Manhattan when the City that Never Sleeps was still a gritty, dangerous place above ground, and much, much worse below. MUSCLE SHOALS’ Executive Producers Joshua D. Maurer and Alixandre Witlin (City Entertainment) are attached.
The action/adventure sci-fi series PLANETOID, an adaptation of Ken Garing’s graphic novel, is a visually stunning story about an ex-soldier-turned-space-mercenary who finds himself stranded on a mysterious planet in alien territory. As he explores the long-abandoned industrial ruins of the planet’s surface, he fends off roving cyborg militias and a hostile alien military with a bounty on his head. Ultimately, he will build a coalition amongst the planetoid’s nomadic tribes and make a final stand against the larger tyrannical forces that rule over them. IM Global Television is out to writers now.
The pilot script LD50 by Executive Producer & writer Scott Dacko is an expansive, thought-provoking character-drama set in a world in which a virus has decimated the male population and created a tenuous balance between a small pocket of healthy men and women and the infected women who surround them.