Robbie Williams Biopic ‘Better Man’ Sells To Key International Markets

Robbie Williams, Michael Gracey Courtesy of Julian Broad/Farrell Music Ltd.; CAA

EXCLUSIVE: Rocket Science has scored a raft of international pre-sales on Michael Gracey’s (The Greatest ShowmanBetter Manbased on the life of singer Robbie Williams.

Significant deals have closed in the UK (Entertainment), Germany & Austria (Tobis), Australia (Village Roadshow), Italy (Lucky Red), CIS/Baltic States (Volga) and Scandinavia (Nordisk).

Pacts have also been secured in Eastern Europe (Vertical), Benelux (The Searchers), Switzerland (Ascot Elite), Middle East (Front Row), Greece/Cyprus (Odeon), Portugal (Lusomundo), and Israel (Forum).

Production is slated for summer 2021 on the feature, which will explore the experiences that made Williams who he is, and the demons he battled both on and off the stage. We hear there will be a strong CGI component to the film, which will negate the need to cast a big name to portray Williams.

Written by Gracey and first-time screenwriters Oliver Cole and Simon Gleeson, the film is being produced by Jules Daly for Big Red Films (The Grey), Craig McMahon for McMahon International (Three Thousand Years of Longing) and Gracey.

Williams is well known from his time as a cheeky teenager in boy band sensation Take That, but the singer really hit stride as a solo artist. It happened fast, with 11 out of 12 of his studio albums charting number one in the UK. His tours continue to be a big draw and he made the Guinness Book of Records for selling 1.6 million tickets for a tour in a day.

Gracey told us last month: “Unlike some people who were born prodigies or musical geniuses and you follow the narrative of the world catching up to their brilliance, this isn’t that story. Robbie is that Everyman, who just dreamed big and followed those dreams and they took him to an incredible place. Because of that, his is an incredibly relatable story. He’s not the best singer, or dancer, and yet, he managed to sell 80 million records worldwide.”

About the film’s music, Gracey added: “All Robbie’s songs will be re-sung, for the emotion of the moment,” he said. “If in his life he’s in the depths of despair, he’s not going to sing a song as cabaret flamboyant showmanship; it’s going to be broken, acapella, stripped down, because that’s where he is emotionally. In moments of pure joy, you’ll get songs sung in this whirlwind of hysteria. So essentially every song in the film, Robbie will sing, but it will be performed for the emotion of that moment, and that scene.”

CAA Media Finance and Elevate Production Finance arranged financing and are representing domestic rights.

Gracey made his film debut in 2017 with Fox’s musical The Greatest Showman, which made more than $435M at the box office and scored a Golden Globe win for best song and and Oscar nomination.

Rocket Science’s EFM slate also included Zach Braff’s A Good Person starring Florence Pugh and Morgan Freeman, and Sophia Banks’ Black Site starring Jason Clarke, Michelle Monaghan and Jai Courtney.

Gracey is represented by CAA, Partizan, and Hirsch Wallerstein Hayum Matlof & Fishman, LLP; Williams is represented by CAA and ie:music ltd; and Daly is represented by CAA.

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