EXCLUSIVE: MGM will produce a feature film based on the life of iconic singer Boy George with Sacha Gervasi (My Dinner with Herve, Anvil: The Story of Anvil), set to write and direct. The biopic will be produced by Kevin King Templeton (Creed I & II) and Paul Kemsley. George and Jessica de Rothschild will executive produce.
George becomes the latest superstar to get screen treatment, this after Freddie Mercury and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody grossed north of $900 million with an Oscar for Rami Malek and a Best Picture nomination. The Dexter Fletcher-directed Elton John biopic Rocketman is coming Friday with Taron Egerton playing the singer.
It’s the second big musical biopic for MGM, which has an Aretha Franklin film where the Queen of Soul herself tapped Jennifer Hudson to star.
The untitled Boy George film will explore his humble beginnings in an Irish a working-class family, through his rise to the top of the international charts with the ’80s band Culture Club. The larger-than-life George never disguised who he was – a fearless, ruthlessly honest young man with an open identity who was years ahead of his time.
The Grammy-winning artist has sold more than 100 million singles and over 50 million albums as a performer and songwriter with Culture Club, and also as a solo artist. Away from his musical achievements, George is the author of two bestselling autobiographies and was the co-producer, songwriter and onstage star of the award-winning musical Taboo on Broadway and London’s West End.
“There is no filmmaker better suited than Sacha Gervasi to tell George’s confessional story with the irreverence and emotion it deserves,” said Jonathan Glickman, MGM’s Motion Picture Group President. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with both of them to bring this remarkably honest and wildly entertaining tale to audiences around the world.”
Gervasi called Boy George “a trailblazer and a true original. In the London clubs of the ’80s, George was impossible to miss and everyone knew he would be a star long before the world had ever heard a note of Culture Club’s iconic songs. As you can imagine, George’s life story is wickedly entertaining, yet also poignant and inspiring. I’m both honored and excited to be the one to guide it onto the big screen.”
Gervasi’s critically-acclaimed rock documentary Anvil: The Story of Anvil won the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the International Documentary Association prize and got a DGA nomination.
“Having got to know George over the last 3-4 years, it’s important to me to ensure his story got told on screen,” said Kevin King Templeton.