Following the success of recent music biopics such as Rocketman about Elton John and Bohemian Rhapsody about Freddie Mercury and Queen, and the upcoming movies about Elvis Presley and Whitney Houston, Universal is working on another showbiz story focused on the multi-hyphenate diva Cher.
The Hollywood Reporter has news on the Cher biopic in the works at Universal. The project will reteam Cher with Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again producers Judy Craymer and Gary Goetzman. As for scripting duties, those will fall on Forrest Gump and A Star Is Born screenwriter Eric Roth, who seems well-equipped to tell the story of the singer and actress whose career has spanned over half a century. A director has not yet been hired for the project.
Cher rose to fame in the 1960s, first starting as a back-up singer on tunes like “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin” by The Righteous Brothers. She attempted a solo career under the name Bonnie Jo Mason with a song called “Ringo, I Love You,” but radio stations rejected it because Cher’s uniquely deep voice made them believe it was secretly a gay man singing a song dedicated to Ringo Starr of The Beatles, which was seen as a problem back in those days.
But Cher eventually found fame alongside Sonny Bono. They struggled at first, but the release of “I Got You Babe” in 1965 reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and that was the beginning of what would become one of biggest musical acts of the 1960s.
Sonny & Cher not only became famous as a musical duo, but also as a couple. They eventually expanded their reach as TV personalities with The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, which even earned Cher a Golden Globe. But their marriage didn’t last, and Cher ventured out on her own with a solo career again after her marriage to record producer David Geffen.
Though Cher had ups and downs in popularity, she was always willing to adapt with the times and figure out new ways to appeal to audiences. She’s had an incredible stream of hit songs across many decades, and she capped it off with Hollywood stardom by appearing in movies like Silkwood, Mask, The Witches of Eastwick, and Moonstruck in the 1980s and 1990s. Silkwood earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress and Moonstruck landed her an Oscar win as Best Actress. Since then, she’s also appeared in Mermaids, Stuck on You, Burlesque, and of course, Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again, all while continuing to create new music.
Cher’s story should make for a fascinating biopic, and it will likely allow for a variety of actors and actresses to appear as other famous faces from music, TV and film. But we’re also hoping that it doesn’t fall into the same tropes that have come to define modern music biopics. That will likely depend on Eric Roth’s script and whoever ends up directing, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.
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