A movie on British singer and songwriter Robbie Williams is in the works, with Australian director Michael Gracey – known for Hugh Jackman musical The Greatest Showman – at the helm.
Gracey has written the screenplay with Olive Cole and Simon Gleeson, both of whom are reportedly first-time screenwriters. The film, which has been titled Better Man (also the title of his 2001-released single), will be exploring Williams’ trajectory from boy-band member at 16 (he was in the group ‘Take That’) to best-selling solo artist, and the demons he battled on and off the stage along the way.
As for who will be playing the “Angels” singer, it could be Williams himself, it could be another actor… it could be a variety of them. The question marks arise from Gracey’s description to Deadline, the outlet that broke the news:
“As for how we represent Robbie in the film, that bit is top secret. I want to do this in a really original way,” Gracey said.
“I remember going to the cinema as a kid and there were films that blew me away and made me say as I sat there in the cinema, ‘I’ve never seen this before.’ I just want the audience to have that feeling. It’s so important when they watch this story, and look at the screen, that they literally think, I’ve never seen this before. All I can say is the approach is top secret, but the goal is to generate that feeling I just described. It’s this fantastical story, and I want to represent it in its harsh reality all the way to these moments of pure fantasy.”
Gracey said the idea for the film came from hours and hours of discussion with Williams. And in what should be great news for fans, Williams’ music is included in the package that’s heading to potential buyers at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival.
This will mark the second feature as director for Gracey, who made his film-directing debut with a surprisingly successful musical. Despite receiving mixed reviews, The Greatest Showman hit the high notes at the box office, earning over $US435 million worldwide and becoming the third-highest grossing live-action musical ever.
Cameras on Better Man are expected to begin rolling around midway this year.