EXCLUSIVE: It was a musical, until it was a crime. Orion Pictures is financing a feature about Chicago inmates who escape prison through producing a musical play. Commercial director Adam Hashemi will make his feature film directorial debut on Songs of the Damned and award-winning music producer Mark Ronson will compose original music for the feature film produced by Anonymous Content.

Ronson, of course, is one of the brightest stars in music today. He produced Amy Winehouse’s award-winning album Back to Black and his song Uptown Funk soared to the top of the charts with Bruno Mars.

Orion landed the coveted project in what was said to be a highly competitive situation. While they are currently looking to cast, we hear that Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton) is in talks to join for a production that is eyeing a fall start.

Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin, Tariq Merhab and Charlie Scully (The Revenant, Spotlight, and the upcoming Boy Erased) is producing alongside Felipe Marino (The Wackness). Multiple Grammy award-winning Ronson will also be an executive producer.

The story, which is not based on any true incident but set in 1984, follows a group of inmates who stage a musical as a way to escape from prison. The script was written by both Hashemi and Emma Needell (The Water Man).

Hashemi is a well-known and prolific commercial director with such spots for Nike, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Beats By Dre, Audi and Alberto VO5 under his belt.

Hashemi repped by CAA, Management 360 and attorney Bob Wallerstein; Needell (The Water Man) is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and attorney Melissa Fox. Ronson is repped by CAA and manager Brandon Creed.