Is there a filmmaker working currently that has as much of an eclectic filmography as John Ridley? While we can’t say that everything he’s written and/or directed is incredible, Ridley has credits that include scripts for films such as “U-Turn,” “Red Tails,” “12 Year’s a Slave,” and “Ben-Hur.” And as a director, he’s worked on projects such as a Jimi Hendrix biopic and the upcoming limited series “The Godfather of Harlem.” So, it shouldn’t shock anyone that his next big project is a musical featuring music from the duo behind “The Greatest Showman” and “La La Land.”
According to Deadline, Ridley has signed on to write, direct, and produce a new limited series for Showtime. The series is a musical that will follow tense family drama that spans generations and has a great effect on the community in modern-day Milwaukee. (Ridley is a Milwaukee native. And as someone that currently resides in the fine city, we have to applaud our own.)
But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the new series is that Ridley is teaming with Executive Producers Alicia Keys, as well as the duo of Pasek and Paul. It’s unclear how much influence Keys will have on the production, but in addition to their producing, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are going to contribute new, original songs for the series. Previously, the duo earned an Oscar for their work on “La La Land” and were the writers behind the music for “The Greatest Showman.”
Gary Levine, President of Entertainment at Showtime Networks, said, “Having worked with John Ridley many times over the years, I know firsthand how talented and fearless he is both as a writer and director. Combining his dramatic depth with the musical brilliance of Pasek and Paul and Alicia Keys promises a wildly original and entertaining series for Showtime.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to work not only again with Gary and Showtime, but to also collaborate with the phenomenal talents of Alicia Keys, the team of Pasek and Paul, Marc Platt, and R.J. and Adam as well,” said the filmmaker. “I’m especially grateful for the opportunity to set the series in Milwaukee, and examine the challenges and triumphs of my hometown; a city to which I remain deeply connected.”
No word on when the untitled series will make its way to Showtime, but we’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for this.