Channing Tatum’s production company Free Association is starting a new division, FA Live, which will focus exclusively on creating, producing and distributing live entertainment.
FA Live’s first project will be teaming with Lionsgate on a high concept dance show inspired by the studio’s global dance franchise Step Up, which spanned five movies grossing over $650M WW and a hit streaming series, Step Up: Highwater, now in its third season on Starz.
The announcement comes in the wake of multiple versions of the Magic Mike Live show and Tatum’s sleeper success, Dog, which he stars in and co-directed.
Free Association principal, Peter Kiernan, will lead FA Live as CEO with Tatum and Reid Carolin serving as Chief Creative Officers. Current Magic Mike Live Worldwide Executive Producer Vincent Marini has been tapped as COO/President of Production. Magic Mike franchise choreographers Alison Faulk and Luke Broadlick will serve as Directors of Dance with live industry veteran Don Gilmore serving as Head of Physical Production.
Similar to the interconnected, branded storytelling built around the Magic Mike franchise, FA Live will seek to extend stories and experiences in all of their live projects. The new live show will introduce an entirely new creative narrative to the Step Up series and center around the foundational power of dance to transform lives and the world around us.
With a mid-2023 debut planned, the new family-friendly dance show will be presented in an immersive, custom-built venue. The live show will also include the launch of a dance academy, which will provide young people of all abilities an opportunity to learn from cutting-edge choreographers.
“After building out five productions of Magic Mike Live on three continents since 2017, our FA Live team is excited to now turn their creative talents to Lionsgate’s beloved dance franchise Step Up,” said Kiernan. “We’re thrilled to be able to bring the experience and knowledge we’ve developed creating custom venues and one-of-a-kind theatrical experiences.”
“The transformative power of dance, real-world stakes, and inspirational spirit are the pulse of this franchise,” said Marini. “The original Step Up film was a huge part of Channing’s origin story. It was one of his first films and helped cultivate a love for dance that has really driven much of what we’ve done in the live space over the last five years. Returning to the Step Up franchise and developing a show in partnership with Lionsgate to inspire and empower young people through dance is really the perfect way for us to launch our new venture.”
“The most important relationship in my life has been with dance,” said Faulk. “This new live show gives us an opportunity to explore the importance of movement in people’s lives in an exciting, unexpected way that breaks new ground and has an impact across multiple generations.”
“We are thrilled to be working with Free Association as they venture into the live entertainment space with this theatrical expansion of the Step Up franchise,” said Jenefer Brown, EVP & Head of Global Live, Interactive, and Location Based Entertainment at Lionsgate. “We have had tremendous success with our live stage productions and immersive experiences based on iconic Lionsgate film and television properties, including La La Land in Concert, Dirty Dancing—The Classic Story on Stage, and Now You See Me Live. The Step Up franchise is a natural, organic fit for a live entertainment experience, and we have great confidence in the Free Association team’s plans to deliver a thrilling, one-of-a-kind dance show.”
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