EXCLUSIVE: The Boy George movie biopic, which is to be called Karma Chameleon, has moved from MGM to Millennium Media and is eyeing a summer 2021 start in London and Bulgaria, we can reveal.
In a new video that we can debut on Deadline, the Culture Club frontman says a casting search is underway for the actor to play him. The singer also teases the casting of 1917 and Line Of Duty actor Danny Mays in the role of his father and claims “there are rumours of Keanu Reeves popping in.” The production declined to confirm either actor’s involvement.
As previously announced, the project is written and will be directed by Hitchcock and Anvil: The Story of Anvil director Sacha Gervasi, and it will be produced by Kevin King Templeton (Creed I & II) and Paul Kemsley. George and Jessica de Rothschild will executive produce. Newly aboard is casting director Kate Ringsell (Wonder Woman).
The film will explore George’s humble beginnings in an Irish working-class family, through his rise to the top of the international charts with the ’80s band Culture Club alongside original band members Jon Moss, Roy Hay, and Mikey Craig.
The larger-than-life singer rose to fame during the New Romantic era of pop in London, aided and dressed by Malcolm McLaren. Culture Club sold more than 100 million singles and 50 million albums, and is well known for hits including “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” and “Karma Chameleon.” George became famous for his sense of style and androgyny, but there have also been bumps along the way, including substance addiction, arrest for drug possession and a four-month stint in prison for the assault of a male escort.
The production tells us the musical drama will have full access to the singer’s library of music and the band’s biggest hits.
The casting search for the film’s lead initially began back in 2019 after we first announced the package. Boy George had previously speculated that a well known pop singer could take on the role, but so far no one has been announced and the project now has a new home and new impetus with The Hitman’s Bodyguard and The Expendables outfit Millennium.
Jonathan Yunger, Co-President of Millennium Media, explained: “We’re elated to bring this amazing story to life. Boy George and Culture Club have been an inspiration to so many people. Specifically, George’s unapologetic way of being true to himself. He has paved the way for people to live their truth as fearless individuals. This is more relevant today than ever and we are so proud to have Sacha lead the charge on this musical journey.”
Said producer Kevin King Templeton: “Now with Millennium Media coming on board, all of the elements are in place and I look forward to finding a dynamic lead. Having spent time with George over the last four years developing the film, it is important to me that his story gets told in a way that honors him.”
Millennium will begin pre-selling the film in earnest this summer during the Cannes market. The sales and production company was briefly attached earlier this year to a Brett Ratner music biopic about Milli Vanilli but withdrew from the package soon after its announcement.
Hit music biopics in recent years have included Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman.
Boy George is represented by Paul Kemsley. Portobello Electric and Gervasi are represented by CAA and 42West.
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