Pharrell Williams is turning his life into a Lego movie, courtesy of Oscar-winning director Morgan Neville and Focus Features.
Grammy-winning and Academy Award-nominated multi-hyphenate icon Williams announced the project on Instagram, captioning, “Who would’ve thought that playing with Legos as a kid would evolve into a movie about my life. It’s proof that anyone else can do it too… #PieceByPiece.”
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The film will be released October 11 in theaters and is billed as an “unparalleled motion picture experience” that pairs Williams’ vision with Lego.
The official synopsis reads: “Uninterested in making a traditional film about his life, Pharrell set out to tell his story in a way that would set audience’s imaginations free. Developed from his singular vision, ‘Piece by Piece’ defies genres and expectations to transport audiences into a Lego world where anything is possible.”
Williams reached out to director Neville in early 2019 with the unprecedented concept of turning his life story into an animated feature film using Lego.
“When I had this crazy vision to tell this story through Lego bricks, I couldn’t have imagined a better partner than Morgan. He is a legend,” Williams said. “Grateful that Focus wanted to collaborate with us and I’m honored to share this with the world and bring people into my universe. Building with Lego bricks encourages us to follow our imagination…who would’ve thought that playing with these toys as a kid would evolve into a movie about my life. It’s proof that anyone else can do it too.”
Director/producer Neville added, “Five years ago, Pharrell Williams approached me with the idea of helping him tell his story through Lego animation. It was one of those rare moments where I knew in a second that this was a journey I wanted to go on. I’m grateful to our partners at Focus Features and at the Lego Group for their belief in our crazy mission. We assembled an incredible team of creative collaborators to help make a new type of film. I can’t wait for people to see it.”
“Piece by Piece” is Academy Award winner Neville’s third collaboration with Focus Features after documentaries “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” and “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain.” Neville has previously helmed four Grammy-nominated films including “Johnny Cash’s America.” Neville’s 2014 documentary “20 Feet From Stardom” won the Oscar for Best Documentary. Neville later went on to direct “Miss Americana,” “Bono and the Edge: A Sort of Homecoming,” and “Watch the Sound with Mark Ronson.”
He also has two features on Steve Martin debuting on Apple in Spring 2024, and is in production on a documentary about Paul McCartney set in the 1970s that will be out in 2025.
Focus Features Chairman Peter Kujawski said in a press statement, “Pharrell Williams is a true trailblazer whose influence across music, art and fashion continually reshapes global culture with an undeniable sense of joy. In partnering with the inimitable Morgan Neville and the limitless creativity of the Lego brand his visionary spirit comes to life in a wholly unique and uplifting way that will inspire everyone to dance, to sing, and to use their voice to build the world they want to see, brick by brick, and piece by piece.”
Williams’ Lego life story is produced by Neville and Caitrin Rogers through Tremolo Productions. Williams’ i am OTHER also produces alongside Mimi Valdés and Shani Saxon. Jill Wilfert and Keith Malone are executive producing for the Lego Group.
Jill Wilfert, Senior Vice President, Entertainment Partners and Content, the Lego Group added in the press release, “Pharrell is a true visionary and is someone who continually pushes the boundaries of what creativity means; something very close to our hearts here at the Lego Group. We believe the Lego brick is the ultimate creative medium, allowing people to build, unbuild and rebuild in as many ways as they can imagine, mirroring how Pharrell has continually innovated in his own life. Getting the opportunity to partner with him; with an incredible storyteller like Morgan Neville; and the wonderful team at Focus Features has been truly inspiring. The combined creativity of Pharrell and the Lego brick is truly something special to see come together.”
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