EXCLUSIVE: After months of discussion, Disney has set a deal with Bruno Mars. The studio will develop a music-themed theatrical narrative feature that Mars will star in and produce. The plot is being kept under wraps, but I’m told that it will consist of mostly original music that he will create and perform.
This comes in the wake of a precedent-setting deal with Lin-Manuel Miranda for the Hamilton musical film, for which the studio paid $75 million for worldwide rights. Both deals had at their center Walt Disney Studios production president Sean Bailey. Integral in the Mars deal was Mitchell Leib, who heads music for the film group.
Mars previously appeared in Honeymoon in Vegas and was a featured voice in Rio 2. I’ve heard that the film has come out of a long series of discussions between Mars and Bailey. Now, they will set a writer or writer-director to turn the idea into a feature.
Mars has won 11 Grammy Awards in 27 nominations, a singer, songwriter, producer, and musician who has sold over 200 million singles worldwide, establishing him as one of the bestselling artists of all time. He swept the 60th Grammys, winning six trophies including the “Big 3” — Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year. A two-time Super Bowl halftime performer, Mars has had more No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 than any other male artist this decade. He’s repped by WME and Felcher & Freifeld.
Mars is also charismatic and exceptionally versatile, as evidenced in this clip from a hosting stint on Saturday Night Live several years ago. He played an intern at Pandora who, when the system crashed, stepped up to impersonate the singing style of numerous hitmakers. I couldn’t find the full clip, which ends with the intern dying of exhaustion, but here you get the idea: