The popular conceit around Hollywood is that video game movies seldom work. But Just Dance is going to be a little different. It's been a minute since Step Up was all the rage, and we haven't seen a good dance drama in a few years, so turning this popular Ubisoft video game into a hit at the multiplex may be quite possible.
Screen Gems has won the right to turn Just Dance into a big screen endeavor after a competitive bidding war. The title is the best selling video game franchise of all time, pulling in 120 million players from all over the world in all age ranges. It's easy to see why multiple studios were eager to get their hands on Just Dance, which should appeal to a wide range of audience members if done right.
The drama is being developed by Ubisoft Film and Television and Olive Bridge Entertainment, with producers Jason Altman and Margaret Boykin attached for Ubisoft. Jodi Hildebrand and Will Gluck are producing for Olive Bridge. Writers are currently being sought to bring this video game to life with a desirable story that will transcend generations while being widely appealing to teens.
Producer Will Gluck has directed a string of hit movies that include the animated Peter Rabbit and the family musical remake of Annie, he's also done the teen comedy Easy A, and the romantic sex-fueled comedy Friends with Benefits. However, it doesn't look like he'll be getting into the director's chair for Just Dance.
Screen Gems is part of Sony, and Just Dance falls into the mandate set forth by Sony chief Kazuo Hirai. Upcoming projects need to be exploited on multiple platforms, and Just Dance definitely hits that niche. The game is already extremely popular on Sony's PlayStation, though it's not a PlayStation exclusive. The game already features many of Sony's top musical artists. The plan is to bring in musicians and other talent for the film as well that are all housed under the Sony brand.
Just Dance was first released in 2009. 2019 marks the game's 10th Anniversary, with the dance game getting constant updates that include such current Sony hit makers as Shakira, Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys, Camila Cabello, The Chainsmokers, Jennifer Lopez, P!nk, and Calvin Harris, who may somehow all play a role in the feature film based on the property.
Eric Paquette and Brian Dukes will oversee the dance drama for Screen Gems. There is no word on the story just yet. Just Dance is a rhythm game that doesn't have much of a backstory going for it. This news comes from Deadline.