EXCLUSIVE: In competitive bidding, Screen Gems has acquired motion picture rights to Just Dance, the wildly popular Ubisoft video game. Screen Gems will develop a film based on a franchise that is the bestselling music video game of all time, with 120 million players worldwide in all age ranges. Multiple studios competed for the rights deal.
Ubisoft Film and Television and Olive Bridge Entertainment will develop and produce the project. Jason Altman and Margaret Boykin will produce for Ubisoft Film and Television alongside Jodi Hildebrand and Will Gluck for Olive Bridge Entertainment. They’re out to writers for a script. Gluck, whose directing efforts include Easy A, Friends With Benefits, Annie, and most recently Peter Rabbit, is not directing this, I’m told.
The deal fits the mandate that Sony chief Kenichiro Yoshida underscored at CES, that the studio’s emphasis will be to make properties that can be exploited on multiple platforms. Just Dance is incredibly popular on Sony’s PlayStation platform — though it isn’t exclusive to PlayStation — and the game, and potentially the film, features many of Sony Music’s top artists.
First released in 2009, the Just Dance video game is celebrating its 10-year anniversary and continues to keep players moving with hit artists including Sony-based talent Shakira, Pharrell Williams, Camila Cabello, The Chainsmokers, Jennifer Lopez, P!nk and Calvin Harris.
Eric Paquette and Brian Dukes are overseeing for Screen Gems.